18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich” (Luke 18:18-23, ESV).
It’s one of the most challenging texts in scripture. Did you know there are two legitimate ways to interpret it? The first is most common: The young ruler walked away sad because of his vast wealth and decided to keep it over following Jesus. He lacks the moral character to carry out the command.
However, I am starting to lean toward the second way, which sees the ruler walking away sad because he does have the character. He plans on following Jesus’ command to walk away from his wealth, but his sadness stems from knowing it will be difficult.
Think about it. What if you had to give up everything you own? If you are an American, regardless of income level, you live much better than most of the world. It would be the hardest thing you would ever do. Continue Reading…