Summary: This passage consists of the second of two extraordinary descriptions in Acts of the mutual care and concern among the earliest community of believers. It is significant that churches today read this passage near the beginning of the Easter season, for the description of that ancient community reminds us that the vitality of the church is not about daring, bold, and prominent public preachers but about the creation of an alternate society that embodies Jesus’ own commitment to justice and compassion. There is no church without a deep, life-preserving commitment among people to the well-being of others. Everybody belongs. It’s one of the amazing things that happens as a consequence of the resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit, according to Acts.
I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.
The Story of the Rich Man Is… A Gift to Preachers? (Mark 10:17-31)
Summary: It’s a difficult passage to read and to preach, this story of a rich man’s’ encounter with Jesus. Consistent with much of Mark’s portrait of discipleship, it speaks about extraordinary self-giving. At the same time, it is an unusual text, with Jesus making discipleship look close to impossible. To preach a passage like this, a preacher does well to consider their role and the sermon’s goals. As for the role, a preacher should approach this text as a co-traveler alongside the congregation. As for the sermon’s goals, it’s best to find creative ways to translate the passage’s discussion of radical solidarity with the poor into contemporary terms. That is not to diminish the passage’s demands; it is to help us think about how much we need each other to walk the road of discipleship together.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Mark 10:17-31. It was originally a contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.
Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary
economy gospel of mark jesus poverty preaching rich man solidarity wealth