“Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to Him, Which ones? Jesus said, You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said to Him, All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack? Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:16-22
Jesus has a most important message for us here.
And when we get this One Thing right we will experience peace and joy beyond all that we hoped and prayed.
To best understand this message, simply consider that Jesus is having this conversation directly with you rather that the young man.
The words truly do matter. There is order in this scripture.
And just like the rich young man — you must first come to Him. And you must know, and truly believe in Jesus. He is the only way. Jesus is making it clear to the young man that he is speaking to God. And we must speak directly to God also. Eternal life and power comes only through Him. And without the cornerstone, – the firm foundation of eternal life — all effort is in vain, burned up, and of no value. “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 3:11
The problem here early on for most readers is that there’s a disconnect when the discussion focuses on – keeping all of the commandments. But for followers of Jesus, God has given us a better way.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 And the apostle Paul makes this clear: “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Rom. 13:8-10
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Some might make excuses here by saying; “I can’t love others, because I don’t love myself.” But God’s word is clear; “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” Eph. 5:28-29
So now remember God is speaking to you and here is the One Thing that stopped the young man — “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
One Thing – Is it time for you to remove all of that which is standing between you and God?
Here’s the problem …
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Rom. 7:15 In other words – I made a list of everything I need to do, but I end up doing the opposite. And this is the nature of our old man. But the old ways don’t work for the new man. “ Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Cor. 5:17
And on their own strength; no matter how well meaning, people will not cast out self. “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
In reality, we are even likely praying for God to maintain much of that which was gained previously in the world. And that God needs to remove much of that in order for us to follow Him. So He answers our prayers by removing that which we pray for. And we are likely to misunderstand. The Spirit removes from us that which hinders us spiritually. God removes for us that which the rich young man went away weeping about – those worldly possessions standing in the way.
Can Loss be a blessing? Consider it all joy and learn the greatest of blessings here and now – power and freedom over all that is in the world. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
… and you will have treasure in heaven and
Come, Follow Me.
Grace and Peace to you my friends,
Bob West – Geezerdust©2020