It was an honest question….
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
This poor kid must not have realized whom he was talking to.
“Good teacher”, yes…..but Jesus is more than just “good” or a “teacher”.
Jesus is God in flesh….the One who sees it all….including what’s inside our hearts.
As the young ruler waits expectedly for the answer, this “good teacher” begins to rattle off a few commandments.
“Awesome”, the young ruler must have thought….”I’m GREAT at keeping rules.”
- Do not commit adultery…..check
- Do not murder……check
- Do not steal….check
- Do not give false testimony…..check again!
- Honor your father and mother…….yes sir….check on that one, too!
“Hello, heaven here I come!”
Poor guy must have been feeling pretty good about himself until Jesus drops the bombshell……an issue with the young ruler’s treasures and his heart.
Not as much of a rule issue….but a heart issue for sure.
“…You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22
“Sell everything…” those words must have echoed in the young ruler’s ears as he turned to leave.
In other words…..surrender the idol in your life.
Jesus loved the young ruler too much not to tell him the truth even though the young man didn’t except it and walked away.
Allowing idols to sit at the throne of our hearts never serves us well.
And the funny thing about idols…..they can take many forms. Sometimes they can come into our lives in the form of money, or security, power, or prestige. Other times idols can be our good works, our health, our husband or even our children…..anything, even if it is considered “good” can be an idol if it has become more important to you than God.
Why did Jesus ask this young ruler to sell everything and give his wealth away? Because Jesus knew that’s the only way to truly live…..surrendered.
Millard Fuller knows something about having money issues and how God can move in a person’s life after they surrender it. By the time Millard was 29 he had become a millionaire……he was a brilliant businessman and had everything money could buy. Then one day he came home and found a note from his wife informing him that she had left him. Heartbroken by the news, Millard was shocked that his wife would be so unhappy….in his eyes his wife had everything and anything she could possibly want. But she wasn’t happy….she was empty. Millard went after his wife and found her at a hotel in New York City. That evening Millard’s wife shared with him how the things of this world….what society says is so satisfying and wonderful were not filling the emptiness in her soul. She felt dead inside. That night Millard and his wife, Linda, decided to surrender their lives to Jesus and sell everything they had. Now instead of living lives dedicated to making money they were going to use the gifts God had given them to help serve the poor. Soon afterward Millard and Linda would start an organization many of us have heard of….Habitat for Humanity.
Jesus tells the young man in verse 22 to “…come, follow me.”
That’s it my sweet friends, surrender our “commandment keeping”, surrender our “idols” and just follow Jesus.
Walk in His footsteps.
Jesus encourages us in verse 27 when he says, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
We can’t follow Jesus in our own strength…..but we can in His.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, make Him your priority….make Him your first love.
Like Millard and Linda Fuller, you never know what God will do through your life until you surrender it to Him.
What are some things in your life you need to surrender to Jesus so you can begin following Him better? What’s holding you back? Let me know how I can pray for you today.
And remember…..you are loved!
Love God Greatly!