Jesus had a way of getting to these core issues when dealing with people.
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?”
From the outward appearance, this man was seeking Christ for a changed life. It’s like we pray sometimes. “Lord, I’ll do whatever it takes to please you. Just help me out of this situation I’m facing.”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good — except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'”
Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter. He asks the man why he’s asking this question. Does he really know the One he’s seeking help from?
When we seek the Lord, are we seeking Him as Lord? Or are we just asking Him to give us something or to do something for us? That makes a difference.
Jesus starts by giving him the primary answer – do what the Scripture tells you to do. That’s the entrance into the kingdom. Of course, they were under the Old Covenant so it meant following the Law of Moses.
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
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.”
Based on the words of Christ, this young man was saved and on his way to Heaven. He was fulfilling the requirements of the Law. The problem was that he was still spiritually unfulfilled. He was longing for a deeper walk. That’s why he came to Jesus.
There’s something important to understand. Before Jesus gives him the instructions, we’re told the Lord discerned or looked into him. Having done that, we’re also told that Jesus loved him. He knew about the genuine longing in this young man’s heart.
Basically, the Lord tells him that if he wants to progress to the next level, spiritually, he needs to remove all his earthly possessions and start new as a disciple of Christ.
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
The word picture in this verse is that of a cloud coming over the conversation when Jesus spoke. The young man was grieved because he had a large estate. So that’s what this is about; an estate.
The young man had inherited an estate from his family. Jesus was calling him to give up his earthly inheritance for a heavenly one. After all, that was his original question.
He was probably well known and respected because of his family’s wealth. Jesus was calling him to give it all up and to start fresh in the kingdom of God.
When we seek the Lord, are we looking for His counsel and direction or do we simply want Him to give us something? Attitude makes all the difference.
I’ll continue this thought in my next post.
Question: What should our attitude be in approaching the Lord?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi