One thing you still lack.

And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

It seems that in this first part of the story Jesus is messing with this wealthy man a bit. It is as if the Lord realizes that the man is a bit disingenuous in his question about inheriting eternal life. First, in a bit of tongue-in-check humor, he subtly asks the man if he really knows that he is speaking with God incarnate - the "Good Teacher". Secondly he ropes him in knowing that this man is one who has only kept the visible parts of the ten commandments but not the invisible.

The story gets interesting as Jesus turns the tables on him and gets to the spirit, or heart, of the ten commandments. What do you think was at the essence of "One thing you still lack"? I suggest that this wealthy man's problem was that he loved money and the things that money could buy. In essence Jesus was telling him that the commandment that he had not followed was the very first. This man's god was his money and he loved it more than he loved God.

Free us dear Lord from the love of money and the things that money buys.

1 comment:

  1. This story always makes me sad.... I picture this young, handsome, wealthy, well dressed, and after his encounter with Jesus...turns and walks away.

    Another story in reverse...a blind man, dirty, poor, sitting in rags, said yes to Jesus and we will meet him in heaven...

    Lord clean the things in my life that push me toward money...and lay up treasures in heaven.


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