A rich young ruler asked Jesus, "Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life:" Jesus told him to keep the Ten Commandments including "love your neighbor as yourself," and the man said he had done this since he was a boy. As far as he knew, he did everything right, but his question shows the emptiness he felt.
Then Jesus said, "Go sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Still empty, the young man walked away sad. He thought he could earn a place in heaven, but Jesus said something different. First he said, "Love your neighbor as yourself," and then "Sell what you own and give to the poor." Do you think if the man loved his neighbor as he loved himself he would have hesitated to give to the poor? Do you think everyone should sell what they have and give the money away? I do not think that is the point of this lesson. The point is, God wants to be our God with no other gods before us (idolatry), whether it is fear, anxiety, money, time, relationships, health, service or anything else that stands in the way of our fellowship with Him.
Think About It
"Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). This is the same message Jesus gave the rich young man--humble yourself, take up your cross by being willing to give your all to God and others, then follow Jesus. This is the pathway to heaven.
Pray About It
Holy Father, teach us what it means to follow Jesus so we can be with you forever. Amen.