I have always been a little curious about the story of the rich, young ruler in the gospels. He approached Jesus, acknowledging him as the “good teacher.” He obviously knew of Jesus and wanted what Jesus had to offer. He asked Jesus how he could obtain eternal life. Jesus first challenged the young man for “buttering him up.” Then, Jesus reminded the young man of the commandments. The rich, young ruler told the Lord he had kept all the commandments. He sure was confident! Then, Mark 10:21 says, “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Life lesson: What is your one thing?
Jesus didn’t seem impressed by the young man’s respectful approach, he wasn’t impressed by the young man’s request for eternal life, and he wasn’t impressed by the young man’s hard work to keep the commandments. Why not? All those things are good. But, Jesus pinpoints the one thing the young ruler is missing. The ONE THING that controlled his heart was his wealth. He wanted eternal life, but he loved his wealth too much. Why did Jesus tell him to give it all away? I have heard many sermons and ideas on the subject. I am convinced Jesus wanted him to give up his ONE THING, because he wanted to give the rich, young ruler a great ministry and a story.
The ONE THING that held him from salvation was the ONE THING Jesus wanted to use to set him free. How do I know? Because Mark 10:21 says Jesus looked at him and loved him. Jesus wanted the best for him. Jesus wants the best for you too! What is your one thing? What is Jesus calling you to deal with? I think so many times we are too sad to surrender our one thing. We are afraid of what others will think if they know the truth about us. We are afraid of what giving up our one thing might cost us. We are afraid of the gap giving up our one thing might leave in our life. But, our ONE THING is the very thing God wants to use to give us a testimony, to give us a ministry, and to set us free for a life filled with adventure and purpose. I am so sad the rich, young ruler walked away! I know the heart of the Lord was saddened too. What about you? What is the ONE THING Jesus is telling you to do? Don’t be afraid, He loves you. Your ONE THING is the ONE THING He wants to use to teach you the BEST THING. He is faithful; He will meet all your needs.