Sunday, June 9, 2019

Lacking One Thing

Lacking One Thing
June 10, 2019
Mark 10:21  "Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One think you lack, He said. Go and sell everything yo have and give it to the poor. . . . '"

A rich young man fell at the feet of Jesus and wanted to earn eternal life. He specifically asked Jesus what he had to do. If you are a rich person, chances are there was a lot of hard work and sacrifice involved with attaining the wealth. This man knew there would be a cost and he was essentially asking Jesus what sacrifice would be required to accomplish salvation. At this point, Jesus had not died on the cross for the forgiveness of sin, so efforts were still tied to a rule-based system. The rich young man understood a rule-based system quite well; he did follow the 10 Commandments. He likely understood banking and financial systems quite well, too. He was not really asking Jesus how to buy his way into heaven, but we wanted a certificate of deposit, a guarantee.  Jesus did not offer him the guarantee, however, rather looked into his heart and loved him.

Jesus agreed with the man that he had followed all the 10 Commandments since he was a boy, but still lacked one thing. He told the man to sell all that he had and give it to the poor and follow Jesus. The man went away sad because that was not a price tag the rich young ruler was expecting. The man actually did not understand the requirement from Jesus. It wasn't a price tag, it was a condition of the heart. The man followed the 10 Commandments but not the Lord. The man followed instructions and laws and rules, but not God. The man liked the rule-based system because it was a set of lines he could follow, but the Lord is not a set of lines. Jesus wanted the man to follow him, not a set of lines but that was all that the rich young ruler understood. The man knew how to follow the lines, not how to follow the Lord. It was a relationship the Lord was, and is, after, not a rule book and concrete work/reward system. Following a work/reward system and the follower is working for the reward, not for the individual.

The man couldn't do it. It is possible he never sold all that he had to give it to the poor to follow Jesus. Since his heart was never in following the Lord, rather only the rules, he didn't understand what Jesus was asking. The man did not understand that Jesus wanted to be Lord of that man's life, money or no money. The man was his own master, had great wealth, and yet was lacking. He lacked understanding of who the Lord was, and is, and what it really was all about. The man lacked a relationship with the Lord, the man wasn't even following the Lord; he was following rules. When Jesus looked at the man, the Bible says the Lord loved him. But it never says the man loved the Lord. The man went away sad when the Lord asked him to sell all he had and live for him; obviously the man loved his wealth and only following rules. 

You love something. What is it? Do you love your stability, or your control over your life? Do you love your career or status among friends, maybe your social media followers? The Lord says if you follow Him, you are likely to lose all that you have in this world that is dear to you but the Lord will repay you for it. The man never understood that if he sold all he had and gave it to the poor and followed Him, that He would give it all back to him and then some. But the man didn't trust that rule; the man didn't even know about that rule. The Lord will repay you for all that you sacrifice for Him, only you have to give it up first, truly and willingly give it up. In doing so, you are proving who the Lord of your life is and the Lord promises to repay it in this life or the next. The man was lacking one thing, Jesus as Lord of his life.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Mark 10:17-31

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