If you would be Perfect

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “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.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Questions about the relationship of faith to wealth, possessions and materialism persist to this day. I wonder if this man who came to Jesus was known for his wealth and possessions or if Jesus discerned this as he spoke with him. I find it interesting how the man came to Jesus with a question about eternal life - it is true that money cannot give you peace concerning these matters. Also find it relative that the man thought eternal life was earned by doing something instead of believing something.

I know people like this man. People who are very moral. People who keep the ten commandments. People who are materialistic. I think that many of us (yes, I include myself) have an idolatrous attachment to our things. And I guess that idolatry is the issue. If we desire to be perfect or mature we must put 'things' in the proper perspective - especially when you consider how things often lose their appeal over time. Jesus sets eternal life before us.. a life that is not captivated by things.

Lord, help me to let go of the things that draw my attention away from you.

2 comments:

  1. Quite a few years ago, I read an article in a Christian Magazine that talked about "Stuff"....

    Whether is expensive, or from the yard sale, any and everything we possess in this life is "Stuff"...can't take it with us, and our kids will give it to the goodwill.

    So, I started a new mine frame, looking a all my material possession as just "Stuff"...It's been a very freeing way to live.

    Maybe the rich young ruler, didn't realize it was just stuff, and Jesus was offering him Riches that would remain forever.

    Love your meditations, Bob.

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  2. It has always helped me to remember that all this "stuff" (good description will one day all burn up (2 Peter 3:10,11). It helps me keep things in perspective. It will be a lovely bonfire.

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