This is a guest blog by Faith Osborne!
“The rich young ruler said to Jesus, ‘I have obeyed all of these commandments. What else must I do to inherit eternal life?’” – Matthew 20:20
The story of the Rich Young Ruler is fascinating to me! Just as his name implies, this man has followed all of Jesus’ commandments and has reached a position of authority in his life. By most standards, this man possesses all that he needs. However, he comes to Jesus because he hasnothing without Him.
Jesus replies to the rich young ruler and says, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” –Matthew 20:21
Jesus responds by telling the young ruler to lay down his possessions not because He wants the ruler to be miserable and to have no fun, but because this is the one area of his life that stands in the way of complete and total devotion to Him. Until following Jesus becomes this man’s firstpriority, everything else in his life will not satisfy him.
I love that Jesus does not ask the rich young ruler to give up everything he has worked so hard for without leaving him with a beautiful promise. Jesus tells the man that if he will give up his possessions, then Jesus will reward him with treasure in heaven. God can always give abundantly more than we could ever obtain on our own when we live our lives for His glory instead of chasing the empty promises of the world.
Jesus taught the rich young ruler a difficult lesson that I need to be reminded of daily. We live in a world that pressures us to live much like this man. The world tells us that if we pursue money, relationships, education, and popularity, that we will live happily ever after. Our culture promises satisfaction through everything but Jesus. However, if we live our lives full of the world but empty of Jesus, we will always have a void in our hearts just like the young ruler that can only be filled through Jesus. We were created by Jesus, for Jesus, and until we realize that He is truly the only reason for living, we will be searching for satisfaction in the things of this world, which will always return empty. We were never meant to find in the world what can only be given through Jesus. The ONLY one who can fully satisfy our hearts is the one who created it.
Jesus says, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
I encourage you to place Jesus before anything and everything that this world has to offer, because He is ready to give you so much more than anything we could ever accomplish on our own!