Be still and rest in the Lord.
Luke 18:18-30 (NRSV)
A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.”
Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Give it all away? To people who haven’t worked for it? My home, my money, my treasures for which I’ve toiled and tilled? Surely Jesus jests? Although, admittedly I’ve yet to find scripture in which God sent down expectations in humor. Jesus speaks faithfully and fully to the rich man in this tale. His purpose is clear: you must give up all that is worldly to enter fully into the kingdom of Heaven. It isn’t enough to follow most of Jesus’s teachings; we must strive to follow all.
Now this is simply my humble understanding, but I think in our modern word with fast cars and big houses and the collective idea of the “American Dream,” it seems preposterous that Jesus would ask us to walk away from all that we own. I know the idea is daunting at the very least, terrifying if we’re being honest. Yet, it is still his expectation, and people do it all the time. We call them missionaries, and they serve an amazing purpose in spreading the gospel to others. Much like the disciplines, they give up what they own when called by the Lord and enter into a career of sharing God’s love.
We all understand that when we enter the kingdom of heaven, our worldly possessions will be nothing. We will leave them behind without question when we stand before the Lord’s amazing grace.
Dear God, help me to hear your calling and understand your purpose for my life. Help me to realize that my worldly possessions are nothing compared to the glory of your plan for me and the mercy of an eternal life with you. Amen.
Go with God.