Jesus truly wanted folks to get it. The reality that God truly loved them and wanted nothing more than to have a relationship with folks. People, however, wanted to earn their way into relationship with God. Some did better than others.
The rich young ruler that met Jesus on this day, thought he had the formula all figured out. He asked the question, “What Must I DO to get eternal life?” Jesus seemed saddened, why are you asking ME about what is good–there is only one WHO is good. Jesus knew this young man didn’t want the truth; he simply wanted a pass, a validation of his great work–Sadly, he came to the wrong guy for validation, but he did come to the right guy for SALVATION.
Jesus cut to the chase–Sell your stuff and give your riches to the poor. Then come follow me. In effect, Jesus said lay down your idol–stuff, and follow God–the only eternal thing. That answer did not fly with the young man. It forced him to give up his self-sufficiency, pride and self-righteousness; for a life of humble submission to the one true God.
The young man walked away in sadness and anger. He did not have the formula for spiritual success, after all. It was even sadder for Jesus. He loved the young man, but he could see right through him. He wanted to grab him up, shake him and scream, “It is not yours anyway!!!!! You are giving up nothing, really!” It would not have mattered.
In our day, the same truth is in play. God loves us more than anything. If we will trust and follow him, then we can experience true life now, and for eternity. When we approach the Lord, we need ask only one thing, “Will you forgive my sin and be Lord of my life?” It is not what we do that makes us righteous, it is who and whose we are. Had the rich young ruler asked that question, he would have seen everything differently.
Jim Elliot, martyred missionary was asked why he would risk his life to witness to the Auca Indians. His answer captures the essence of Jesus’ response to the rich young ruler, “He is no fool who would trade what he cannot keep; to gain what he cannot lose!”–Jim Elliot
God Bless You
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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.”