“One thing you lack,” he said.
The rich young man had a lot going for him. He lived a clean life, worshiped God, and obeyed the Word of God. We’d probably call him a “spiritual” person. Since he was concerned about life after death, he asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
The answer Jesus gave disappointed him. Maybe he had expected Jesus to give him a secret rule to keep or a special pilgrimage to take so he could be assured of a happy life forever. But Jesus pressed deep into the heart of God’s law: “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Hearing this, the man’s face fell in disappointment. He was very wealthy, and that meant everything to him. Jesus was offering him the treasures of the kingdom of God, something far greater than earthly riches. But the sacrifice of giving his money away and taking the risk of following Jesus was more than the young man was ready to accept. So he turned away.
To follow Jesus means to make him the center of our lives, set everything else aside, and go where he leads. Sounds risky? The truth is that when we follow him, we find that we lack nothing. Each day is a new and wonderful challenge, and there’s a joy down deep within us that all the money in the world can’t buy.
Thank you, Lord, for giving yourself for us on the cross. Take over our lives, and make us love nothing more than to grow in relationship with you. In your name, Amen.
Rev. R. Scott Greenway