As we will learn later this week (on Sunday in Church), there are many different applications that we can pull from this passage. Every scripture has one interpretation, many applications. There is a lot to learn from this one interaction that Jesus had with the rich man, and today I want to focus on the obvious one.
For Jesus, just obeying the rules is not enough. Jesus doesn’t just want people who are able to check off a list each day – having completed a set of tasks for their Salvation. Instead, Jesus wants a life that is totally committed to Him.
This is what is hard for the Rich man. Not the fact that he has to give up everything. The hard part is that he is no longer going to calling all the shots. He will be without money and without power. When your life is about gathering wealth, it’s not about Jesus. We can’t have anything that keeps us from being fully devoted followers of Christ. It may not be money for you, but we all have something we need to lay down to be one step closer to following Jesus.
The Rich Man
17 Now as Jesus was starting out on his way, someone ran up to him, fell on his knees, and said, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 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.’” 20 The man said to him, “Teacher, I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws since my youth.” 21 As Jesus looked at him, he felt love for him and said, “You lack one thing. Go, sell whatever you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But at this statement, the man looked sad and went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were astonished at these words. But again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but not for God; all things are possible for God.”
Ask God to show you the areas of your life that you are holding on to. Ask Him to reveal to you the thing that you’re still not willing to lay down for the sake of the Gospel. Then ask Him for help and strength in laying it down.