“And as [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him,
‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’…
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have
and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.’”
Mark 10:17, 21
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The conversation in that first passage happened as Jesus was setting out on His journey to the cross. He was en route to Jerusalem to give His all. Enduring the cross and despising its shame. Mocked, spit on, flogged, and killed. Even refusing a drink that might have lessened a bit of the pain. Holding back nothing in His mission to be the perfect sacrifice for us. And Hebrews 12:2 gives us insight into His focus: Jesus fixed His eyes on the joy that was set before Him.
This is what He calls us to as well.
To fix our eyes on the joy He has set before us. Taking hold of that for which Jesus Christ has taken hold of us.
Because that joy is worth everything. The joy of following Christ unreservedly. The surpassing worth of knowing Him in close, personal relationship.
We have treasure in heaven when we release our treasures on earth. When we set our eyes on Christ and determine to follow Him wholeheartedly, using all that God gives us for His glory.
He is able to bless us materially, and to give gifts of the Spirit and talents and strengths – but let us remember the intent of these, as we see in the riches given to the Israelites. As they left Egypt, God granted them favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, who gave them silver and gold jewelry and beautiful fabrics (Exodus 12:35-36). But look at how these were used – to build the Tabernacle. To create the magnificent items that would convey His glory and worth through the worship of His people.
All that we have is for Him. Our possessions, our talents, our very lives. And our God promises to pay us back a hundredfold, if we will trust and follow Him (Mark 10:29-31). Fixing our eyes on joy. Running after the One who saves us to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25), and who gave His all to do so.