Verse of the Day Devotion: Luke 18:22
“When Jesus heard this, He said to him, one thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” – Luke 18:22
“A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18. This young man was a ruler among the Jews. He was also a very rich person who essentially lacked nothing. This man was not a Sadducee because he believed in a future eternal life. He asked Jesus a serious question because he was concerned about what he should do in order to receive and enjoy everlasting life. However, he was looking at this from a legal standpoint, figuring that all good things are given him by his good works. Therefore, he said “what shall I do to inherit eternal life.
Jesus then asks him about what he said. “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Luke 18:19. Knowing the young man was a Jew, Jesus knew this young man did not believe Him to be the Son of God. He was one who believed keeping the Jewish law was important and helpful in attaining the favor of God. And Jesus used this knowledge to open up the discussion regarding the Law. “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.” Luke 18:20.
The man then tells Jesus he has kept all these from his youth. He was hinting that he knew it would require more than just following the Jewish Law, which it does. But again, he believed their must be more that must be done. Then Jesus tells the young man what he must do. “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Luke 18:22. What Jesus was telling him was he had to give up those things which were more important to him then God. Mark adds an additional idea to this. “Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him.” Mark 10:21a. To many, money has become an idol, the thing they seek beyond everything else. And this appears to be what was going on with this young ruler. He responded by becoming very sad because of the great wealth he had. These things he had accumulated along with the great wealth he had set aside was more important than the eternal life he asked about.
It is important that we examine our hearts and see if there is anything we would choose not to give up for the cause of Christ. He is to be more important than anything else in our lives no matter what. What is it that motivates you? If it is other than doing God’s work or a relationship with Him, then, as Jesus said, we may have to give these things up. We cannot allow anything to take precedence over God. So, I want to challenge us, and I include myself in this as well, to look at what is the most important thing that drives us. And if it Is not God, then we may have something we need to give up.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.