17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.”
20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard[b] to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
A wealthy man approached Jesus and asked what he could do to inherit eternal life. The man sensed that Jesus was a good teacher, and wanted help because his lifestyle of riches and rules left him empty.
When Jesus told the wealthy man to sell his belongings, give to the poor and follow Him, the man left saddened because he loved his possessions. The wealth he had gathered became a barrier to following Jesus.
Some people don’t change right away when they meet Jesus. Change can be a process, not just a moment. Jesus wanted to change the wealthy man’s life, but He wanted the man to want to change. Unfortunately, the man resisted change when Jesus called him into a better life.
“Our identity is shaped by our provider, not our possessions.”
God wants us to live completely devoted to Him, not chained to our possessions or status. Our identity is shaped by our provider, not our possessions.
Jesus is better than our possessions. God has generously given us Jesus, and He asks us to dedicate ourselves to Him, because God wants to do amazing things with our lives.
Do any of your possessions steal your affection from Jesus?
What’s holding you back from taking your next step in following Jesus?
How prepared are you for change? What can you do now to be ready for when and how Jesus calls you to change?