The Cost of Saying “No”
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. "There is still one thing you haven't done," he told him. "Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come follow me." At this the man's face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
This is one of those passages of Scripture in which it is easy to get distracted by the background noise. If we are not careful, our focus will be on the words, "sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor." That is not the point of this passage. Our focus should really be on the words, "come follow me."
Jesus called many people to follow Him. Each of His disciples had to give up something to become a follower of Christ. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left their fishing nets behind. Matthew left his tax collecting business. The point is not what they left behind, however. The point is that they chose to follow Jesus.
In this story, Jesus asks the man to give up his possessions. At first glance, this might seem a bit extreme. The fact that the man walked away from the call of God, however, indicates that his wealth was his god. Jesus extended His call to many people who, for one reason or another, could not say, "Yes," to Him.
I can't help but wonder what the result would have been if this young man had chosen to obey and follow Christ. Maybe he would have taken Judas' place and become one of the Twelve. Maybe he would have written a Gospel. At any rate, he missed out on an opportunity to follow Jesus. He missed his destiny.
As I meditate on this story, I have to ask, "What would my life look like if I fully obeyed Jesus? What would my life look like if Jesus was Lord of every area?" I consider myself a disciple of Christ but I believe that there are depths and levels of discipleship that I have not touched yet. May God give me the grace to say, "Yes," when the Lord speaks.
Have you ever had to make a difficult choice in regards to your relationship with Christ? Are you struggling with a difficult choice now?
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