Alex Enabnit – Teaching Resident
Continuing our “Kingdom” series, today we studied Luke 18:18-30, the story of the rich young ruler. In this passage, a young wealthy man approaches Jesus asking how eternal life is inherited. Jesus responds with a rabbinical answer: keep the commandments. When the young ruler claims to have kept all of them, Jesus explains that he still lacks one thing. Only after selling all his possessions, giving to the poor, and following Jesus would this young man have eternal life. So from this account we can conclude that Jesus wants us to give up everything we own, right? Not necessarily…
When Jesus asks us to follow him, He isn’t asking for a small piece of our lives. He isn’t asking for a chunk of time on the weekends or a couple of dollars pitched into the offering plate; He is asking for everything we’ve got. For some of us, Jesus may actually be prompting you to literally give away everything you own just like the rich young ruler. But more important than the “what” is the “why.” Why would Jesus want us to give up anything in the first place?
Jesus isn’t trying to make life painful for you. He’s not trying to take away things that make you happy; He’s simply asking you to let go of whatever or whomever you are putting above Him. This may mean money, but it may also mean a career, an obsession with a sports team, or even family. Jesus makes it clear that we cannot be His disciple if we place more importance on anyone else besides Him.
What is that “one thing” for you? Are you placing anything above God? To put it boldly, what would you rather go to hell with than heaven without?
Other verses and quotes from the message:
“The cure for this particular problem is to live for others with the same degree of intensity you have lived for yourself”