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#163 What am I Missing?

A wealthy young ruler watches Jesus with the children. His heart stirs; a desire for the love and tenderness Jesus gives them causes an impulsive action. He runs after Jesus, who has just left, drawn to follow him.

“Good master,” he begins unsure of his question, “how can I get eternal life?”

Jesus confronts him, drawing out his true motivation, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God.” (In effect he says, Do you know who I am? Do you know it’s God’s love you want?) Then he cuts through, “If you want real life, keep the commandments,” and reviews the ones about loving your neighbor.

To which the ruler responds, “I have done that since I was a child. What am I missing?”

Jesus looks at the hunger in the man’s heart and loves him; he so wants to have him as a follower, to develop teachableness in him, to satisfy his heart longing, to use his many gifts and abilities to help others.

“You lack just one thing,” says Jesus, “Sell your stuff, give to the poor, and come invest with me.” He sees the flaw that would be his undoing. The man trusted his piety, his possessions, his position.

The ruler is stunned, the price is too high, he loves that he is young, wealthy and accomplished. Sadly he walks away. And even more sadly Jesus watches him go, saying, “How hard love is for men who are owned by possessions!”

Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-22,  Luke 18:18-23


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