“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.”
Many people try to live outwardly good lives without ever finding a new life in Christ. Mark 10 tells the sad story of the rich young ruler who, when given the opportunity to follow Jesus, turned away. This story offers insights to help us avoid striking out at the opportunity to follow Christ.
Jesus taught no man can serve two masters, but he must serve one.
When Jesus asked the rich young ruler to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and follow Him, the reality of the man’s depravity was exposed. He was unwilling to do this because he loved his money more than he loved God and his neighbor. Jesus showed him the futility of trying to behave himself into Heaven; all he had was a superficial knowledge of his own goodness.
In order to follow Jesus, we must turn from our idols to serve the living God. This turning is called repentance, which means to change our minds and change our lives.
Jesus taught the rich young ruler that whatever master a man chooses will master that man. Faith is not merely nodding a head to a series of theological facts about Jesus; it is enthroning Jesus.
• What would be most difficult for you to give up if Jesus asked you directly?
• What problems might this indicate about your relationship with this person or thing?
Determine what needs to change in your life for you to give proper honor and authority to Jesus. Take steps toward making that change.