A young man walked up to Jesus and asked, 'Good teacher, what does God require me to do to be saved?' Jesus says, 'Well, don't murder anyone, make sure that you are faithful to your wife, don't lie, make sure you steal from no one, respect your parents and love the people around you!'
The rich man quickly puffed his chest out and said, 'I've done all these things. Is there anything else?' The man expected Jesus to pat him on the head and say, 'Well done, son. You are the best!'
Instead, Jesus replied, 'Go and sell all the stuff you have and give it to the poor. Then you will be worthy to come and follow me.' The young man's chest deflated and he was left bitterly disappointed.
Now we can easily explain this text (Matthew 19:16-30) away, 'That was only for that one man, Jesus doesn't mean that for us!' But I don't think that does justice to the text. This young man was prepared to do anything to follow Jesus but give up his wealth.
And that makes me wonder whether we sometimes say, 'Jesus I surrender my all to you, except this thing here.'
As disciples, we are seeking to run after Jesus. But what are things in our life that hold us back from following him like this young man? What keeps us from deciding to take up our cross and follow Jesus? Maybe it's worth spending some time in prayer this week and naming those things that Jesus is asking us to surrender to him so that we may be freed to run—hard and fast—after Jesus in obedience and hope.
Originally penned for East Taieri Church bulletin