“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”’ – Matthew 19: 21-23
Where do you find your security – wealth, status, career? If you were asked to give it all away – would you? Could you?
In Matthew, we read of a rich young man approaching Jesus. He wants to follow Him. But Jesus, knowing the true heart behind people’s motives and priorities says to the man – “If you want to follow me, go and sell all your wealth and give it to the poor. Then you can come follow me.”
Turning to leave, the rich man is disappointed. He knows he can’t do that. Why? Because his security is in his money. The idol of his life is money. There is no way he could give it up.
Witnessing this exchange, the disciples become unsettled. Why would Jesus say that? What will others think? They might lose followers.
Recognizing their concern, Jesus explains how difficult it is for a wealthy person to enter heaven. His answer was more than a little alarming. It’s probably alarming many affluent individuals calling themselves Christian, today.
You might think you’re going to go to heaven when you die, but all this time you’ve been putting your trust in money rather than God. God knows that your heart isn’t really His. That’s a pretty strong statement.
Choosing to follow Jesus isn’t easy. Now, don’t get Him wrong. Jesus isn’t asking everyone to give up all their earthly possessions in order to follow Him. But, He is saying that we need to be willing to give up what is most important to us in order to follow Him.
Where are we putting our trust, our security, and our hope? Is it in the things of this world, things that will pass away? Or, are we putting our trust, our security, and our hope in Christ? It’s a one-time decision that needs to be renewed daily. What decision are you making? Will you walk away from Jesus disappointed – or will you walk with Jesus?