As Jesus moved and ministered among the people of His day, a man approached Him and asked Him point-blank how he could have eternal life. In our vernacular, we would equate this to asking, “How can I get to Heaven?” That’s a great question, and Jesus used it to teach a great lesson that we ought to tune-in to.
When we read on, we find out this man was young and very wealthy. He was the type of person who was used to having life on his own terms. But there was still a sense inside of him that something was missing, an awareness that he didn’t have things in the next life under control. So he asked Christ what he had to do.
At first, Jesus reminded him about God’s commandments: Don’t murder, don’t steal, obey your parents, etc. The young man insisted he’d done all that yet still sensed something wasn’t right. Jesus, knowing the man’s real problem, gave him a startling answer:
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21 NKJV)
The Bible says the man turned and walked away full of sorrow because he had a lot of possessions. That’s the end of this man’s story, and it’s a tragic one. Jesus had put His finger on the real issue in this man’s life. His possessions had come to possess him. He wanted to square things away in the next life, but he wasn’t willing to do so at the expense of the things of this life.
The lesson we need to learn is this: Whether it’s wealth or anything else, we need to have a light touch on earthly things if we’re to take hold of Heaven.
Think About It…
What does this passage reveal to me about God? What does this passage reveal to me about myself? Based on this, what changes do I need to make? What is my prayer for today?