Dear Friends in Christ,
‘Come follow me!’ The rich young man wanted to love God and inherit eternal life. His genuine efforts delighted Jesus. Nonetheless, Jesus saw that he was relying on his own efforts to gain salvation. By inviting him to see all his goods, Jesus opened up a choice to him. Would he acknowledge his insufficiency and turn to Jesus for the grace to move forward, or would he turn away defeated and despairing?
The Lord wants us to come to him for salvation to arrive at the point where we discover our weakness and frailty and then turn to him for grace, strength and life. It is essential that we discover this moment in our lives at least once or, as is more likely, again and again. Do we depend on ourselves or on God? The heart of ‘being saved’ is acknowledging our need and depending on God. We cannot taste the goodness of the Lord id we rely only on ourselves.
Jesus challenged the man to a decision. Similarly, Jesus challenges us to make wise and godly choices. The choice is genuinely ours, as the young man’s choice was his. He could not make the decision to follow Jesus because the sacrifice of all his possessions seemed too great to him.
We sometimes fail to make the choices demanded of us. The sacrifices involved seem too much for us. For this reason Jesus promises us that giving up everything for his sake will be rewarded a hundredfold. The reward far outweighs the cost. He asks us to believe his promise and act upon it.
When we are following Jesus everything else in our lives loses importance: ‘I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord’. The young man clung to the security of his possessions because he could put his trust in Jesus’ love for him. Only by experiencing Jesus’ love shall we be able to believe his promises and act upon them without counting the cost. Therefore we need to pray persistently to grow in our knowledge of his love for us. This is the key to following Jesus. Then not lacking one thing, we shall have treasure in heaven.