What spurred that memory was Mark’s description of the moment when a young man ran up to Jesus and asked what he needed to do to gain eternal life. Mark didn’t just repeat their conversation, but he gave a full account of how they acted and what they felt.
The young man came running and knelt before Jesus as He was walking down the road. Jesus didn’t just answer the fellow, but watched him intently.
Mark wanted us to know that.
He also wanted us to know that the man passed the Lord’s diligent inspection. And before Mark told us what Jesus said to the man, Mark wanted us to know that Jesus loved him. Before Mark told us that Jesus straight-up told the man that he wasn’t ready for heaven, he wanted us to know that Jesus said it because He loved him.
Makes me wonder if Mark had bumped into some of those folks who think love means never hurting anyone’s feelings. You’ve met them. The God knows my heart and nothing else matters crowd. I thought they were a relatively new phenomenon, but maybe not.
Jesus thought speaking the truth mattered. He wasn’t going to let someone He loved wonder about his spiritual condition. Mark must have thought it was important, too, because he was careful to make sure we understood that Jesus said it because He loved him.
The man had a spotless record. He obeyed God’s laws. Yet, Jesus chose to ignore that and judged him for something the Law did not demand.
We are surrounded by people who own Bibles, but seldom read them. Family traditions and misapplied scripture numb their minds like novocain jabbed in their jaws. Like the young man Mark wrote about, they think they’ve got their lot in heaven bought and paid for.
If they are fortunate, someone who loves them will speak up and tell them the truth. Obedience to God’s word and a life detached from the things of this world are still required. A life sold-out from the inside-out.
Love will not remain silent.
Sherlock Holmes, in The Adventure of Silver Blaze, listened as Inspector Gregory rehearsed all the facts surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a race horse. Someone had managed to slip inside the stable and take the horse without waking the stable boy who slept nearby. As he concluded his report, the Inspector asked, “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
“Yes,” answered Holmes. “To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.”
“But the dog did nothing in the nighttime,” replied the Inspector.
“That,” remarked Holmes, “was the curious incident.”
The dog that guarded the stable never barked or he would have awakened the stable boy and saved the horse.
He was obviously friends with the thief.
As night falls on this generation, may our parents and preachers be compelled by love to declare the truth regardless of how uncomfortable the conversation may be. The same love of the world that captured the heart of the young man Mark wrote about has millions trapped in its snare. Only the truth will set them free.
May love prevail.
May we never become as dogs that will not bark.