The rich young man does not understand. Even as he kept the commandments, he just cannot bear to separate himself from his worldly possessions in order to follow Jesus. Instead of realizing God’s kingdom, he went away dejected (Mark 10:21-22). What this rich young man desires most, eternal life, is worth far more than he is able to pay.
It is not just the rich young man who is unable to pay his way into heaven. No person has the power to save their life for eternity. Even the selling of all we own and giving the money to the poor, as noble as it would seem, is not enough to purchase eternal life. “How difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24). Saving ourselves requires a Savior. In Christ, we have one.
Through Christ Jesus our heavenly Father does what we cannot do. God loves us, feeds us, and saves us. Through Christ, God makes us inheritors of his kingdom. The rich young man did not understand; his wealth could not buy him a place at God’s table. Yet, through Christ Jesus the banquet was already prepared. All he had to do was give thanks and follow.
Prayer: Holy God, we thank you for your mercy and grace through Christ Jesus and ask for the will to follow him. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila,
Pastor of Union Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.