This is what Jesus tells the rich young ruler in Luke 18. “You still lack one thing.” The rich young ruler was pious. In other words, he was religious, self righteous and self seeking. The rich young ruler comes to Jesus seeking an answer. He wants to know how he can inherit eternal life. The answer Jesus gives him, I believe the young ruler was not expecting or hoping to receive.
How often do you find yourself coming to Jesus, praying, asking Him to answer your requests, hoping to receive the answer you want to hear?
Jesus goes on to say to the rich young ruler in verse 20: “You know the commandments. Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your mother and father.” After Jesus tells this to the young man, how does he respond? He tells Jesus, I have observed these commandments from my youth. He’s basically telling Jesus, he knows the law, he knows the commandments, he knows how to follow after God. Even in the young man’s pride, in his piousness, in his response and in his life something still was missing. Jesus says in verse 22: “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
In verse 23 we see the young man’s response to what Jesus said in verse 22. The rich young ruler became very sorrowful because he was rich. He didn’t want to give up his wealth and possessions. For the rich young ruler this could mean for him he would have to walk away from authority, from the spotlight, from an elite group of people and he would have to turn to a low and meek position in life. He didn’t take Jesus upon his words. Instead he walks away in his sorrow choosing to follow what he knows. He chooses to stay on his own path.
What did the young man lack?
The rich young ruler lacked giving up all to follow Jesus. Jesus called him to lay down his life and to make a sacrifice for an eternal reward. Wealth, riches and the glory that is received while on earth does not compare or come close to what’s in Heaven. If only the rich young ruler could have seen that. If only he could have recognize that Jesus was calling his heart to come and be positioned and sold out for Him. It wasn’t a money issue for this young man, it was a heart issue.
For the rich young ruler his heart was stuck on his riches. What is your heart stuck on?
Here are some questions for you to think about:
Where do you find your heart positioned today?
What is the one thing lacking in your life that you need to hand over to God?
Will you be like the rich young ruler and walk away sad when God is asking you to follow Him?