Tuesday 4.5.11

Do you hold on to the things of this world?  What comfort have they brought you?  This is a story of a man who didn’t want to give up his earthly posessions to follow Christ.

Jesus had promised a man treasure in heaven if he followed him (v. 21; compare 6:20); the man preferred to keep his treasure on earth (19:22). The well-to-do young man of 19:16-22 was like many “First World” Christians today. We want God to affirm that we are religious enough without costing us anything more than we have already been offering him. We trust only tentatively the value of heaven’s kingdom and hence are prepared to sacrifice only little for it; but one who is not sufficiently convinced of the gospel’s truth to sacrifice everything (compare 13:44-46) will not prove worthy of it. This is not to say that we are justified by our merit-we must receive the kingdom like a child (19:13-15). But genuine, saving faith is practically shown not by merely reciting a prayer but by living consistently with what we profess. ( Matthew 19 bible gateway commentary)

The point of this story is that we all want the good things that God promises, but what are we willing to sacrifice for it?  Everything on this earth is temporal but the kingdom of God is everlasting.

 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
 “Which ones?” he inquired.
  Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’
 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
  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.
Matthew 19:16-22

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