There he was, with a crowd around him. Figures. It didn't matter. He would just march up to him, and start talking.
He squeezed by a large woman, and then dodged to the left to avoid hitting a man and his son who were walking away from Jesus.
Here goes nothing.
He cleared his throat. "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" That wasn't so hard. It was a simple question, and surely one Jesus would be able to answer. This way he would never have to give it another second of thought.
"Why do you ask me about what is good. There is only one who is good. If you would enter into life, keep the commandments."
Keep the commandments? That was it? How was he supposed to keep all of those commandments, every second of every day? Then he perked up. Maybe he meant a couple of specific commandments? Now that I can do.
He cringed. That earned him a few looks from Jesus' friends. He held his hand up to eyes, shielding them from the afternoon sun.
Jesus' right eyebrow raised ever so slightly. "You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. Honor you father and mother. You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
His smile got bigger and bigger as Jesus talked. He had already done all that! All of it! Was his eternal life already bought? "All these I have kept since I was a child. What do I still lack?" He smiled broadly, expecting a pat on the shoulder and an enthusiastic "Good job!"
Jesus' eyes pierced his. He swallowed around a lump in this throat. "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Now that was not what he was expecting.
Nor was it something he could do...
Based on Matthew 19:16-22
So do you remember falling in love, but you were unsure if the other person loved you back? You were all nervous, fidgety, and self-doubting. Pulling at your shirt sleeves, looking away really fast, and then looking back as you try to glimpse into their soul to see what they haven't shared with you. All you knew was one thing...
You wanted to be chosen.
Well, have you ever stopped to consider that God wants to be chosen?
Our lives are a big, epic love story with God. It goes either one of two ways. We reject the Lover of our soul. Or we pick God.
Why do you think God gave us free will? He's never wanted to force Himself on us. He has always wanted us to choose Him.
This rich, young ruler wasn't motivated by his love for God. He was motivated by his love for himself. And at the end of this encounter, you see him choose himself. This epic love story of our lives is a series of choices like the rick, young ruler made. Big and little. Every day we make choices to put aside us, our desires and our motives, and to choose God first.
What choices have we made today where we put God first? When did we choose Him?
V. Joy Palmer