“If you want to be perfect, go sell all you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me”.
Familiar words spoken by Christ to the rich young ruler, and you might recall that the young man walked away from Jesus sad, because he had great wealth (and could not give it up). It’s a sorrowful commentary on a young man that would walk away from eternal riches just so he could hold onto to temporary wealth and respect in his community. Of course Christ’s point was not that everyone that had wealth should give it all away, nor that rich folks can’t go to heaven. I believe His point was that you simply can’t have two “adventures” or paths in life. You have to decide which road you want to take.
This young man’s “raison d’être” was to oversee his inheritance and look over the wealth that his father had left him. He had a sense of “obligation” to be about the family’s heritage and reputation. It’s no different from someone who is committed to a noble cause, such as a Christian camp for children, or a church, or a wife and family, or a nation… but fails to place his first allegiance to Jesus Christ. That is the point, I think, of this story. Where is our primary allegiance? I think that the rich young rulers of modern Christianity are pastors, motivational speakers, humanitarian aid workers and, yes, camp directors who worship the cause, rather than the one who is the only worthy “Cause”.
Jesus seemed to say with some excitement, “Give it all up and come join me in my journey”! What an invitation! What an opportunity! And what fools we are to choose something “good” when we could choose the “One” who is the best.
I get caught up in my own sense of importance far too often and need to be reminded of my need to daily abandon everything and follow Him.