17 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?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 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.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
I taught this story recently in both scripture at school and in kids church.
The man in this account liked and respected Jesus and Jesus liked the man. But liking Jesus, even respecting him as a good teacher wasn’t enough. Knowing and following the rules wasn’t enough. It was helpful to the man but it wasn’t what Jesus was looking for. When Jesus asked him to sell up, to give his riches to the poor and follow him, the man turned and sadly walked away from Jesus. He got the answer he was looking for – but he couldn’t let go of what was in his way.
Holding on to stuff is so easy. Putting my trust in stuff, leaning on stuff, is a huge temptation. Jesus isn’t against my stuff – he’s against my stuff robbing me of the life-bringing connection that comes when I let it go to trust in Him.
Lord open my eyes to see when I am leaning on my stuff instead of You.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn