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As Jesus and his entourage were traveling, someone approached him and said, “I will go with you, wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Lions roam, and birds are free, but even they have homes. But God’s ruler doesn’t even have a pillow, let alone a bed.”

And Jesus motioned to another, who was thinking about being Jesus’ student, and said, “Come along with me.”

But the thinker said, “Well, how about if I bury my father first?”

Jesus replied, “Let the dead who live in your house bury their dead. Your task, right now, is to tell people God’s kingdom is coming.”

Another approached Jesus and said, “I want to do your work as well, Lord. But let me just say goodbye to my family first.”

Jesus stared at him, saying, “Anyone who begins the work and looks back at what he left behind isn’t a worthy worker for God.”

As Jesus returned to his travel, a man ran up to him and bowed in front of him. The man asked, “O Holy Teacher! What must I do to obtain eternal life!”

Jesus, assuming this was some brown-noser who was looking for a positive answer, said, “Why do you call me ‘holy’? Only God is holy. I’m sure you’ve heard about the commands that make you right with God—‘Don’t murder,’ ‘Don’t cheat on your spouse’” ‘Don’t steal,’ ‘Don’t commit perjury,’ ‘Don’t defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and all the others.

But the man, desperately, said to Jesus, “Teacher, I have already obeyed these from my youth. Isn’t there anything more?”

Then Jesus truly noticed him and felt love for him and said, “There is just one thing you need: Go home right now, sell everything you have and give the money to the needy. Then you will have the treasure in heaven you desire. And when you are done with all that, follow me on my journey.”

The man stood silently, his face downcast, then he walked away slowly, dejected, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus turned around and said to those following him, “People with a bunch of stuff have a hard time getting into heaven.”

Jesus’ students’ were shocked, but Jesus repeated himself, “Kids, it’s very hard to enter into God’s nation. It’s easier to fit a Starbucks in one of their cups than for one of the well-off to get through the gates of heaven. It’s easier for Donald Trump to deflate his ego. It’s easier for Twiggy to swallow a space shuttle. That’s how hard it is for them to give up their stuff.”

The students were wide-eyed and mumbled, “Who could possibly be saved, then?”

Jesus heard this and stared at them, “It is impossible for any human—but for God, nothing is impossible. He can do anything He wishes.”

Then Peter spoke up, “Look, we left everything to wander places with you.”

Jesus replied, “That’s true. And there isn’t anyone who gave up their siblings, parents, and jobs for me and for God’s truth that won’t get a hundred times as much. Even now, before God’s nation fully comes, those who gave up everything will get a hundred times as many siblings, parents and food. Of course, this all comes with being rejected by the world, but you do obtain eternal life in the next age. Just remember this: the first will be last and the last will be first.”

Luke 9:57-62, Mark 10:17-31

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