A man comes up to Jesus and asks him what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus does not hesitate but tells him he must sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor and then come and follow me.
The man is shocked at Jesus’ answer and goes away knowing that he cannot do what Jesus expects of him. How would we react if we asked the same question of Jesus and he gave us that answer? I believe many would react just as the man did. We work hard for our worldly possessions. We value what we have. We live in a world where we are judged by how well we are doing in life.
People strive to have a home, a nice vehicle, an attractive wardrobe, and a few non-necessities, such as a cabin on the lake, a boat, a snowmobile, just to name a few. It would be hard to part with what we have worked so hard to obtain.
But maybe Jesus was talking about more than mere possessions. There are two words that Jesus said to the man that he may have not heard. He was so astounded by the thought of selling his possessions that he missed the most important words Jesus was telling him.
Jesus said, “Follow me.” Those are important words for all of us. Instead of spending our time working hard to be able to afford all kinds of worldly possessions, we are asked by Jesus to take time to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus taught us by example. Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and cared for the poor and oppressed. He showed us what it means to love one another and he wants us to continue to do his work.
Jesus wants us to give up the notion that we can save ourselves, fix our problems, and that all we have is because of our hard work. When the disciples asked Jesus who can be saved, Jesus answered, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God, for God all things are possible.”
Eternal life does not come from our accomplishments, but from the grace of God. We can do nothing to gain eternal life because it has already been given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The early disciples left their way of life and the comfort of their homes to follow Jesus.
We don’t have to do anything that radical, but we do have to remember daily to keep Jesus in the forefront of all that we do. Jesus calls to us to follow him. If we are too concerned with our lifestyle and possessions, we forget that if it wasn’t for God we would have nothing.
Remember the poor and find ways to reach out to those who need a helping hand. Show the love of Jesus to all you meet and each morning plan you day so that you always have time to follow Jesus.