17 And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 “You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'”20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”
21 And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property. NASB
This is the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler. He asks Jesus how to be saved and inherit eternal life. Jesus felt love for him and told him to choose between his possessions and following him. Jesus asked him to make a choice.
That was hard. Why if Jesus loved him did he tell him to do probably the one thing that kept him from seeing Heaven? If Jesus truly loved him why did Jesus not say, “You have done a great job with your life. You have followed my laws that is all you need to do.” Instead, He asked him to choose.
Why did Jesus ask for more? Does love require us to give more than what we are prepared to give? In our relationships with our friends and family Jesus asks us to love them and serve them. In the relationship with my spouse Jesus asks me to put them first to give up myself and serve them. In my relationship to God I am asked to give up myself and serve Him. Jesus gave himself up to serve everyone else in all his relationships. We must choose.
37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Why does Jesus ask me to love even my enemies? We must choose.
Loving as Jesus loves is a choice that we intentionally make. Choose between eternal life and your possessions. You love the “much” that you have, give it up and follow me and you will have Heaven. That is a hard choice. Jesus in loving him told him choose to give it all up and follow me.
That is what Jesus asks us to do. Give it all up. Put God first in your life. Follow him no matter the personal cost. It will be worth more than we can even imagine. Love Jesus first. Choose.
Love means showing us the gods we put before God. What are my gods that I put before God? Read God’s Word and see how deeply and richly He loves us by showing us what is holding us back from following Him. Choose.
33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Jesus loves me by asking me to choose between everything else and Him.
What should I choose? How might I make the hard choices and follow Jesus? Loving as Jesus loved is a hard choice.