“Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” He said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
An exploration of the words of Mark’s Gospel can give us a deep insight into the characteristics of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Michael Haykin, in a recent blog entry, at the Andrew Fuller Centre website, on the subject of C.H. Spurgeon’s success and spirituality, gave a description of many of the intangible factors that led to his success, including a description of the great Baptist Preacher’s voice as described by his biographer Mike Nicholls as, “one of the great speaking voices of his age, musical and combining compass, flexibility and power.” [C.H. Spurgeon: The Pastor Evangelist (Didcot, Oxfordshire: Baptist Historical Society, 1992). The intangible of Spurgeon’s voice enhanced his success, but it was not the main reason for it. Spurgeon attributed his success as a preacher to the grace of God. It is there that true success is found.
Mark uses vivid language in order to introduce us to the real Jesus. Mark tells us of Jesus’ gaze in the story of the rich young ruler. Mark literally writes the Jesus looked upon the young man intently and loved Him. The eyes of Jesus become the focus of the story. He looks intently at the young man, He looked around intently at His disciples as the rich young man was leaving, and finally He again looked intently at His disciples when they expressed surprise at His teaching about wealth and the Kingdom of God. Mark is telling us here that there was something penetrating in the gaze of the Lord Jesus Christ. It literally cut deep into the hearts and souls of those that Jesus encountered. We have all encountered people whose eyes were extremely expressive. One glance from them was enough to stop us in our tracks. It was once said of the Evangelist Billy Graham that his gaze was penetrating. When he looked out at a Congregation and told us what his Bible said there was something arresting in the encounter. I am certain that Mark is telling us that the Lord Jesus Christ’s eyes were even more powerful.
The gaze of Jesus connected with His loving approach gave a deep authority to His teaching. He told the rich young man the truth. As Jesus gazed upon him, loving Him deeply, He told him the truth about himself. The Gospels tell us that Jesus knew people, in a personal and powerful way. Jesus would speak with people in a way that forced them to confront their personal issues. Those things which were in reality hindering people from really coming to the Lord for salvation would be brought up in very powerful ways in these conversations. In this case it was the hold that this young man’s possessions had upon Him that was at issue. With the woman at the well in John 4 it was her string of relationships. In John 3 Nicodemus was shown that He must be born again. Jesus always seems to deal with the truth of us. His love for us required no less of Him.
What about you? What issue is the Lord Jesus Christ confronting in your life? I have come to the conclusion that the Lord never wastes time. His gaze always cuts through our evasions, bringing us to that point where we see clearly the thing that separates us from the eternal life He purchased for us on the cross. His call is for us to surrender, to repent and to give ourselves unconditionally to Him. Will you do this today?