When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Matthew 19:22
“What do I still lack?” the rich young ruler continues his questions to Jesus. Although he thinks he has kept all the Jewish laws and commandments, in his soul he knows something is lacking. It hasn’t brought him the satisfaction he thought it would.
Jesus cuts to the heart of the man’s problem -- the thing in his life that is keeping him from being fully devoted to God and putting Him first in all things. For this man, it is his wealth and possessions.
“Sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me,” Jesus responds.
Jesus knows many things can take first place over God, but money is a big one, tricking us into thinking we can control things; tricking us into thinking we are fulfilled; tricking us with just enough temporary satisfaction to keep us from seeking God.
While it was money and possessions for this man, it may be something else for you and me. It is anything we value over God; anything we are unwilling to give up to have more of Him. What God calls one person to give up, He allows another to keep. He alone knows what our heart is so tightly attached to over Him.
So, how does this young rich man respond? He sorrowfully walks away from Jesus. He walks away from the ONE thing he truly needed.
This young man knew something was missing; something was keeping him from life and peace. But when confronted with how to fill that hole, still he clings to that which he thinks he needs even more.
Questions: What is that thing for you? What are you clinging to that keeps you from entering into the closest relationship with Jesus? Your family, health, possessions, reputation, security, ambition, control…?