The Rich Young Ruler

by: Erin Spruell, CKM Staff

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.

And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
— Matthew 19:16-30

I have been reading this story lately, not on purpose just by chance. I open up my bible and it falls to Matthew 19 and I panic. I think to myself, I know this story, the man wants to follow Jesus and Jesus tells him to go and sell all he has and give it to the poor, then he can come and follow him. The man has a lot of wealth, so he decides not to.

Is Jesus telling me to sell everything I own? Is that why I keep coming to this passage? I don’t think that’s it.

There is so much more that I have been missing this whole time. It’s not about actually selling all you own to follow Jesus, though some people will. It's about getting rid of your baggage. It's about your heart. Would you be willing to give it, whatever it is for you, up to follow him? If not, what is it that you would not give up? That is what he wants in order to have your whole heart.

For me it was simply my comforts: My community, my family, my dream job, and my cute things that make my home mine. Those things are all good, and they are all little blessings the Lord has given me, but when he called me out on a limb and I looked at my comforts versus his calling I had to decide in that moment that He was worth giving it all up for. As I sat in my living room saying yes to the Lord and I looked at all my comforts, I knew following Him would be worth it, even if it was hard.

The same is true for you! Whatever it is the Lord is asking you to give up, what he has to replace it will be so much better. So pray and ask the Lord what it is for you and whatever it is, whether its your job, your unhealthy relationship, your fear, your insecurity, give it to him and surrender your life to him, your whole life! 

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About the Author:

Erin has been involved with Clayton King Ministries for many years, from camper to summer staff to CDH participant. She has been on many Crossroads Mission trips and loves to travel the world. She is from Peachtree City, Ga and a graduate of Auburn University. Erin loves photography, coffee and all things communications. She will be moving in August to Thailand to work full time for our ministry partners there!