12/31/15 What Must I Do?

At the next village, Jesus is just wrapping up a day’s teaching on another hillside.  A man has been standing just outside the crowd, listening but not joining in.  Now that the crowd is dispersing for the day, he approaches Jesus and bows low at His feet.  He is wearing the robes of a rich man, tasseled like those of the Pharisees, but he does not act like a Pharisee.  “Good Rabbi,” he says to Jesus, “What do I need to do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?”  Jesus studies him for a moment, then asks, “Why do you call Me good?  Only God is truly good.”  He looks into the man’s heart and sees that he wants to have faith but is struggling.  “You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’”  The man nods earnestly and says, “I have kept the commandments since I was a child.”  Jesus sees that he is growing hopeful that he has done all he needs to do to gain eternal life in Heaven.  But his heart belongs to something other than God, and that is what the man needs to rectify.  “One thing you still need to do.  Sell everything that you have and give the money to the poor.  In so doing, you will gain treasure in Heaven.  When you have done this, come and follow Me.”  The man is startled, not expecting this response.  He backs away sadly, knowing that he is not prepared to do what Jesus asks of him.  His wealth is far too important to him.

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

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