When Jesus was asked, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” He responded by saying, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19.16-17) After listing all the commandments the rich man chose to push the issue further by saying, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19.20) Ultimately, after Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor; and you will treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me,” the rich man departed from his chat with Jesus because he could not part with all his wealth. Have you ever wondered why the rich man left instead of following Jesus?
The Gospel makes it a point say, “He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19.22) The rich man was unable to give away his wealth because, like so many wealthy today, he worked hard for what he had. The money wasn’t given to him; he had to work for it and it wasn’t fair that he should give it to some poor person who was too lazy to get out of bed and work hard. And who was Jesus anyway to expect him to live without the comforts of life? It was HIS money after all…..
I hear this same argument every time I mention Christian stewardship. The hard truth is that most of us live lives that revolve around making money to maintain a lifestyle that is, if we really acknowledged it, more than we would ever need. In fact we put much more effort into our American lifestyle than into preparing our souls to spend eternity with Jesus our Lord.
The real question is…..would WE walk away or follow Jesus? Think about it…