So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:18-24).
When I read this story yesterday, I was struck by the fact that both Jesus and the young man were sorrowful but forvery different reasons. The rich young man was sorrowful because in order to follow Jesus he had to give up his wealth. Jesus was sorrowful because the young man was unwilling to part with his wealth. He would rather hold on to riches that would perish than enter the kingdom of God. His treasure was laid up here on earth instead of in the kingdom of heaven.
Unlike Peter and the rest of the disciples who left all they had and their families to follow Jesus, the rich young man did not want to leave the wealth he had accumulated. It was too much of a sacrifice. But what about the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us? He left the glory of heaven, the worship of angels, the presence of His Father to come here on earth to live as a Human among humans, having no place to call home, sleeping outdoors, not getting much rest because He was always teaching and healing. He put aside His glory and donned human flesh so that He could be like us in every sense but not sin.
Jesus is sorrowful for all of the people who choose their possessions over Him–who place the things of this world above the things of heaven. Jesus wants us to focus our attention be on God’s kingdom and His treasure. He wants our hearts to be with God and not with this world which will soon perish.
Today, make a commitment to lay aside your treasures and follow Jesus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.