Doctrine of Life #66

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66. We read in Mark that a certain rich man came to Jesus and asked Him what he should do to inherit eternal life.

Jesus said to him, “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and your mother.”

The rich man answered and said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”

Jesus, looked at him and loved him. Nevertheless He said, “One thing you lack: Go, sell whatever you have and give it to the poor. By doing so you will have treasure in heaven. But come, take up the cross and follow Me.” (Mark 10:17-22)

[2] We are told that Jesus loved him because he said that he had kept those commandments from his youth. But he lacked three things, namely, that he had not withdrawn his heart from his riches, that he had not fought against his urges, and that he had not yet acknowledged the Lord as God. For that reason the Lord told him to sell whatever he had, meaning that he should withdraw his heart from his riches; to take up the cross, meaning to fight against his lusts; and to follow Him, meaning to acknowledge the Lord as God.

The Lord said all this, as He did everything else, using terms that correspond, as may be seen in The Doctrine Regarding the Sacred Scripture 17.

For no one can refrain from evils as being sins unless he acknowledges the Lord and turns to Him, and unless he fights against evils and so puts away his urges to do them.

But more on this subject in the section dealing with battles against evils.

  
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Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and to Rev. N.B. Rogers, translator, for the permission to use this translation.