“What must I do to inherit eternal life?… One thing you lack: go and sell what you possess and give it to the poor… and come follow Me.” Mark 10:17; 21
What if the gift we are asking God for is different than the one He’s offering? The rich young ruler already had a good life but saw it could be better if he had the promise of eternal life. He asked Jesus what He had to do to ensure that gift but didn’t like the answer. “But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.” (Mark 10:22)
He was willing to do something, but Jesus asked him to let go of something. He wanted to improve his life, but Jesus wanted to become his life. He wanted to add a room to his house, but Jesus wanted to tear down the house he had built and start over with Himself as the foundation of a new building.
He ended up walking away sad. The gift he asked for was different than the one God was offering. I wonder if we have answered Jesus’ call to let go of our control, or if we have redefined what He’s offering to accommodate our own desires?
Better to be sad than deceived. I wonder if the rich young ruler ever reconsidered and followed Jesus on His terms? If he did, he would have found that God is not opposed to us having stuff; He just doesn’t want our stuff to have control over us.
A few verses after this young man walked away sad, Peter said: “We have left everything and followed You.” Here was Jesus’ response to him: “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)
When we withhold nothing from Him, He will withhold no good thing from us! (See Psalm 84:11)