Devotion in Motion
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
In verse 22 Mark mentions the man was rich. Matthew tells us he was young. Luke says he was a ruler – probably of the synagogue. Put it together and he was the rich, young ruler. He had wealth, health, and power, but something was missing deep inside. “So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” Look, Jesus isn’t denying His deity. Instead, He’s saying, God is the only One who is truly good – So, when you called Me “Good Teacher” were you agreeing that I’m God? We’re going to discover that Jesus struck right at the core issue in this man’s heart. Jesus was not this man’s God. The man worshipped money, and possessions, and wealth. Jesus says to him, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.'” Notice, Jesus only lists the second tablet of the Law – the commandments that are horizontal, the ones that deal with our fellow man. He doesn’t mention the first five commands that dealt with our worship of God. “And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.” He had no problem loving his brother, but greed and pride were his god. “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him…” Jesus is about to speak a hard word to this man – a tough pill to swallow… But before he does that He wants him to know that he’s loved. “(Jesus) said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Jesus wants this man’s undisputed, unrivaled devotion. Jesus wants nothing between him and this rich, young ruler. If he wants eternal life there can be nothing he loves more than Jesus. And Jesus knows that money is in this man’s way… Materialism has weaved its web around his heart. And he has to go cold-turkey! Jesus tells him to go to heaven, he has to liquidate everything and give it all to the poor.
The question arises, is it bad to have possessions or be wealthy and the answer is simply, No! You see there are many well meaning people who like say that ” Money is the root of all evil” But that is not what the scripture says. 1 Timothy 6:10 a “For the (Love) of money is the root of all Kinds of evil” You see it’s not money or wealth, it’s the love of it. what Jesus is saying is ” The question is not if you have money or wealth or many possessions, the question is (Do your possessions have you)!! Easy test is how riled up you get when you notice a ding or scratch in that new vehicle. Do you go ballistic or do you just blow it off. Will Jesus ever tell you to do that? I don’t know. He might! What is it in your life that you love more than Him? For some folks the problem isn’t money. It’s fame, or pride, or sports, or career, or a relationship, or selfishness… Jesus knows what’s on the throne of your life – and you can’t go to heaven until you replace it with Him! This story ends on a tragic note. Verse 22, “But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Notice This rich, young ruler was a moral man – a generous man – a religious man. If he had walked into most Churches he would’ve been made an elder or board member. But none of the stuff this man possessed was enough to get him into heaven… Until Jesus sits on the throne of your life nothing else matters! Jesus doesn’t save those He cannot rule. The problem is alway a matter of the heart.