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Know God in a Year #163 “What am I Missing?”

A wealthy young government official 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 when he leaves, feeling drawn to him.

“Good master,” he begins unsure of what to say, “how can I get eternal life?”

Jesus confronts him, drawing out his true question, “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 official responds, “I have done that since I was a child. What am I missing?”

Jesus looks at the hunger in this man’s heart and loves him; he so wants to have him as a follower, to satisfy his heart longing, to develop teachableness in him, 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 will be his undoing. The man trusts his position, his possessions, his piety.

The ruler is stunned; the price is too high. He loves that he is young, wealthy and accomplished. Sadly he walks away.

Even more sadly, Jesus watches him go, saying, “How hard love is for men who are owned by their possessions!”

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

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