the young man said to him, "all of these things i have kept; what am i still lacking?"
as i read this today i thought to myself, how does the young man know he is lacking? jesus hasn't even given any instruction that would cause him to question his personal motive. jesus actually spells out the answer for him to which the young man genuinely felt he has accomplished these things. my rationale would tell me that if the answer to my question of eternal life were things i had already been practicing i would have left it at that, no? does it seem strange that the young man was not at peace, in his heart, with the efforts thus far for eternal life? simply put...his spirit told him he was lacking. somehow in some way he knew he was aware he still lacked something else. i wonder if the young man actually believed in the goodness of the god he felt like he had obeyed his entire life. that might be where jesus wanted to press on him...his unawakened heart to the lovingkindness of the lord. it seems apparent in his lifestyle that his attempts to achieve eternal life are through the empire he builds on earth. maybe he thinks god will take notice of his amazing capability to acquire such financial gain and resources and feels god would certainly not be able to do without him. he gives his heart of understanding away in two areas:
1. when jesus corrects his (young ruler) position on what is good
- if he really knew god, and not of him, he would have known of god's abounding in lovingkindness and the design for those in need of that divine love
2. he cannot sell his possessions
- his grief, in verse 22, is a noticeable mark of an event in his life he cannot let go of
- one grieves because something has happened (loss, trauma, etc)
- the young man sees his possessions as a greater loss than his eternal life (this in itself will grieve any individual, especially one seeking truth)
- the young man's grief will lead him to a choice that he will inevitably have to make
i believe this is the place god wants us all. are you going to admit what you want will not sustain, in order for him (god) to give you what he wants you to have. we come to that crossroad, sometimes daily, sometimes not as much. nevertheless, god uses the crossroad to show the value of the choice, his for us and ours for him.
keep pursuing the truth and when you feel grieved over something ask god for strength to choose what he would want you to choose for growth and maturity.