"What must I do to inherit the kingdom of God?”
The rich young man thought he was almost there. If the Rabbi would give him the rest of the requirements, he’d be done.
He’d been a good boy all his life. He was clean and well dressed. Any mother would have been proud for her daughter to bring him home and announce they were engaged.
Jesus looked at the boy’s innocent face and loved him immediately. Who wouldn’t?
I’m sure he made quite a contrast to the grubby disciples who had been following Jesus from town to town. They were older, less refined, even crude. They didn’t look as nice but they had come much further than the boy in their spiritual journeys.
They had left everything to follow the Rabbi. But even they weren’t near the finish line. They still had much further to go.
This boy thought he was nearly done when he really hadn’t even started. He didn’t know any better. It’s the confident naiveté of youth.
We older folks smile at the optimism of the young ones. We know what will happen to them soon enough and we also know that men like this one can usually pull themselves together to face unexpected challenges.
Jesus must have decided the young man was ready to grow up a little. “There’s only one more thing to add to your list. Sell everything you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me.”
Scripture says the young man walked away sad. I’m sure he was. His world just got a lot more complicated. This disciple stuff was going to be hard. A lifetime journey.
This is not necessarily a story about materialism or money management. It’s about how far along we are in our discipleship.
How dedicated am I really? What have I been holding back? How much more of myself could I be giving to Jesus?
Turns out I’m like the young man, only I’m not young and handsome. I’ve got a few years (and pounds) on him. But I still have room to grow.