“Jesus looked at him and loved him.
“One thing you lack,” he said.
“Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
“The God who sees me” sees everything about me – even the things of which I might not be conscious.
The man ran up to Jesus, fell on his knees before Him and asked Him what he must do to inherit eternal life. This tells us something of the urgency and importance of the question that burned within his heart – even although there is a sense that he was caught up in the emotions of the moment. When Jesus referred him to some of the commandments the man responded by saying that he had kept them since he was a boy. It must be noticed however that the commandments Jesus referred to were mainly negative and to which the general response was that ‘I have never done anyone any harm.’ From what followed we can see that Jesus was also questioning him with ‘Yes, but have you ever done anyone any good?’
Obviously touched by the man’s sincerity Jesus ‘looked at him and loved him.’ And, looking into his heart, perceived the one thing that stood between the man and a whole-hearted worship of God. So He told the man to sell his possession and give the proceeds to the poor – in other words to get rid of the idol in his life and make a difference in the lives of others. Then he invited the man to ‘come, follow Me.’
It was obvious that Jesus had put His finger right on the problem for ‘the man went away sad, because he had great wealth.’
On the one hand it is a tragic story. There were many who asked to follow Jesus and were told to stay where they were. Only a few were called to journey with Him – and this man received just such an invitation. In addition there is the lovely and unusual comment that ‘Jesus looked at him and loved him.’ It seems that he could have been very close to the Lord.
The Lord knows of the things in each of our lives that stand in the way of a whole-hearted relationship with Him. He will keep challenging us in these areas because He wants to see us set free to both receive and share the great love that He has for us. The last thing that He would want for any one of us is for us to only know some of His love ‘from a distance.’
Ask God to open your eyes to the truth of the barriers in your own life – and that He will give you the love and strength to walk away from them into a deeper relationship with Him.
Lord God, please open my eyes to the greatness and wonder of Your love – and to anything in my life that stands as competition. I choose to turn to You more fully – please help me to draw closer and closer. Amen.