October 22, 2018
The Man Who Had (Almost) Everything
October 22, 2018
The story of the rich young ruler is a saga of a man who had everything. He had money, reputation, respect, and religion. He was the picture of piety and blessing. And yet, something was missing. Thus, he came to Jesus. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” he asked. The word do and inherit betray an issue. Many of the benefits in life he enjoyed came as a birthright. He likely inherited a faithful heritage from his parents. Perhaps he also inherited a double portion of the estate from his father. So naturally, he also considered salvation as an inheritance. Religion was more of a transaction than a relationship. In response to the question, Jesus pointed him to the commandments. The affluent man stated proudly that he had kept all the rules from his childhood. In this case, Jesus noted that this man didn’t need to add anything to his life to be saved. He needed to subtract something. The abundant life that Christ gives is not something you gain through doing or inheriting. It’s not an acquisition or an entitlement. It’s a gift! In the passage previous to this one, Jesus welcomed parents who were bringing little kids to him for a blessing. He said, “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Salvation is to be received, not inherited. And when you receive it, it usually leads to self-emptying, not self-aggrandizement. Sometimes the greatest investment begins with divestment. Our willingness to share our gifts of time, talent and money are measures of what we truly value.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FIELD
- How do you define success?
- What does faithfulness to Jesus look like in your life?
Gracious God, help me to see my life as a gift to be shared. Enable me to prioritize my days so that you are front and center in everything I do, say and am. May the way that I live and serve give evidence of my love for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.