As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”
Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”
He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”
Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.
Wow… This wealthy young man, much loved and admired by the God of the Universe, turned down a call to His apprenticeship programme.
Friends not all are called, and not all are chosen. In fact some offers were turned down and redirected, like in the case with the demon possessed man in Gerasenes;
Later, a great many people from the Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave—too much change, too fast, and they were scared. So Jesus got back in the boat and set off. The man whom he had delivered from the demons asked to go with him, but he sent him back, saying, “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done in him.
But unlike the demon possessed man, the rich young ruler was in a privileged position; for he was of the crop of Israel, and a beneficiary of The Covenant. Sadly, like many today with misdirected priorities, he was too entangled with the affairs of this present life, making it very difficult to make a transition into a more meaningful life experience. In the words of the great teacher;
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
This fella was so close, yet so far – what a miss?! I pray that the desires of our Present Self does not rob us of the glorious inheritance of our Future Self.