Read: Matthew 19:16-30
When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:22 ESV)
During the final stretch of Jesus’ public ministry a young religious ruler secretly came to him to find out the truth about eternal life. Jesus shared with him several insights about living a devout Godly life. The young man met all of the criteria, he was on his way to experiencing eternity with God, until Jesus revealed the final piece of the young man’s personal journey.
Some biblical translations call this man a rich young ruler, a name that adequately describes his place in life. At a young age this fellow had amassed great power and wealth. That was a problem. Not because either of those things are bad things, but because when Jesus asked him to leave it all behind he was unwilling. He went away sorrowful.
I am not rich and powerful. If God called me to lay aside my finances it would not be a monumental request. For this man it was. I believe that is exactly what Jesus asks of his followers sometimes. He sees into our hearts, and knowing the very things that would distract us from following him with the greatest sense of passion, he sometimes asks us to lay them aside in favor of a simpler life in pursuit of him.
In those moments we are presented with a choose similar to that of the rich young ruler. Either we will lay aside our idolatrous distraction and follow Jesus without reservation, or we will walk away sorrowful, unwilling to part ways with the gods of our own making. What will you choose?