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?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good– except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 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.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
The man seemed to have it all together. His request was sincere. He ran up to Jesus and fell to his knees. His résumé seemed to check out. Ever killed anyone? No! Ever had an affair? Never! Thief? Of course not! Liar? No! Fraud? Absolutely not! Honor parents? Certainly! Personal history was there. He had kept the commandments…well, except the first one: You shall have no other gods before me. Money was the man’s god.
Jesus saw into this man’s heart and made a big request. He asked the man to give up his god. Go sell everything you have. Trade stuff on earth for treasure in heaven. Give up your house, savings plan, retirement account, your car…everything! Give all the proceeds to the poor and I’ll meet you back here tomorrow at the same time. We’ll start our journey together. You will have treasures in heaven.
But the man just couldn’t do it. His god on earth was more appealing than the God of heaven. His earthly stuff was more attractive than an eternal reward. The man’s face fell and he walked away from Jesus. He realized he hadn’t kept the commandments after all. You cannot serve God and money.
Father, show me what is standing in the way of following You. Whatever it is, help me deal with it. Give me the strength to give it up or get it out of the way. For Christ’s sake and in His name. Amen.
What god is holding you back from Jesus? Let us pray for you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today on The Journey Broadcast: