A man approached him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus said, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There’s only one who is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.” The man said, “Which ones?” Then Jesus said, “Don’t commit murder. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t steal. Don’t give false testimony. Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” The young man replied, “I’ve kept all these. What am I still missing?” Jesus said, “If you want to be complete, go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away saddened, because he had many possessions (Matthew 19:16-22, Common English Bible).
Jesus gave the rich young man four instructions. Follow the commandments, he assumed he had that one covered, I tend to doubt it. The second third and fourth are all tied together. Second, go, sell all you have. Third, give the money to the poor. Fourth, today’s reading, come and follow me.
We all follow something. The question each of us must answer is, what or who are we following. In the movie War Room, Liz, played by Priscilla Shirer, learns what it means to follow Jesus. In one scene of the movie Liz and Ms. Clara, played by, Karen Abercrombie, says that she and her husband were, “…too busy chasing their careers.” I have heard and seen people chasing their kids, their parents, their stuff and their friends. We follow the wrong people all too often when we let peer pressure dictate the things we should do with our lives.
There are two more things we often follow. One is power. For some in our society it is the thing of most importance to them. It can be insidious because it can hide itself well but if we are one to chase it, to follow it, it can lead us to some very dark places. The second one is money. I have heard it said that we follow the “golden calf.” When we follow and chase after money it can be our lone pursuit. We never have enough. There is always a need for more.
A couple of days ago I mentioned a book by James Moore, Have You Ever See a Hearse Pulling a Trailer. Money can be like that. We have stuff and want more stuff and let our stuff rule our lives. When we focus on money it can be the same way, money and the pursuit of money seems to control us and most everything we do.
In the end, money, or any of these other things can become our God. To follow Jesus means all these things take a back seat to our relationship with the Risen Christ. I don’t think having things is the problem. I don’t think having money is the problem. Following Jesus must be first, always.
What is something in your life that might be tempting to place ahead of your relationship with Jesus?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved