This One Thing You Lack

Mark 10 17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “This one thing you lack: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

The first several times that I read the above passage, I had a difficult time with the logic of Jesus.  The guy who is introduced to us in these verses is a good man.  He kept the commandments…never murdered, never committed adultery, never stole anything, didn’t gossip, never illegally obtained money by deception, and he honored his mom and dad…a seemingly really good guy.

However, verse 21 states something very tender about Jesus, “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him.”  So, the next words coming from His mouth will come from a heart of love.  Jesus sees one thing keeping the man from His Kingdom.  So, he speaks, “This one thing you lack.” The Lord’s words seem really harsh, “Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  Actually, these words are precious, loving, intentional words that will result in this case, eternal life.  Material things are this gentleman’s idol, and volitionally, he is not willing to let them go.

The result?  “Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful(ly).”

Knowing that Jesus right now is looking at you from a heart of love, what is “this one thing you lack?”  I pray that each of us will be open and honest.  We have a choice:  Obedience and enjoy His presence or disobedience walking away disheartened.  This is a perfect moment to be responsive and obedient to Jesus.

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