"As he was setting out..." someone, who perhaps grasps and then gasps -- 'He's leaving, this is my last chance to ask him' -- approaches him, respectfully, honestly, humbly, sincerely.
"What must I do to inherit eternal life?"
The disciples, as do we, lean in. The dialogue is deceptively compelling.
The answer to this question has us all holding our breath. I hope.
Because when breath becomes air -
As it does for all living souls,
What shall we do, you do, anyone do?
To inherit eternal life?
If it's not your question now, well, it should be...
A friend of mine said he had a commandment above his bed -
"Thou shalt not should on thyself."
But, it seems right here, to should on yourself.
And besides, did you see it?
Jesus added a commandment too - "do not defraud" - maybe just for this person?
Or not. Go figure.
Anyway, they continue on their way.
"All the way to heaven is heaven, because He said I am the Way."
He's not with them.
I'm told this is the only scripture where someone leaves Jesus presence - sad.
What did he miss? Why couldn't, didn't, he get it?
Look again, see if you see,
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"
20 "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
21 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."
22 At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
27 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
28 Then Peter spoke up, "We have left everything to follow you!"
29 "Truly I tell you," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields-along with persecutions-and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."