The Christian life is often misunderstood as being dreary, lacking color. Christians are often thought of as being boring, mundane, almost to the point of living a life of deprivation, lacking in many things. This misconception is due to many things, and perhaps, also due in no small part to the impression that this episode left on the thoughts of many people.

“Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:16-22

We often read this episode and go away feeling like there is just no pleasing God. We try and do all that He asks for and He still comes up with something new that He wants us to do. But beloved child of God, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, Jesus is showing us the true relationship which we have with the Father, a relationship which unlocks the doorway to a richer, more abundant life. Let us see why.

Firstly, notice that the rich young ruler comes to Him as teacher. My friend, God does not want to be your teacher. He wants to be your Father.

“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” John 20:17

When Jesus rose from the dead, His resurrection opened the way for us to have a closer and more intimate relationship with God. God was now no longer merely God, God became Father. The message Jesus Wants You, also tells us that God so deeply desires a close relationship with us, that He mentioned 28 times in the Bible that we shall be His people and He shall be our God. When you come to our Father as God, Teacher, it is like addressing your own Father by his designation at work. Would you like your child to do that to you?

Next, notice also that the rich young ruler wanted to acquire a place in heaven by His own actions? The apostle Mark uses the word “inherit” in place of “have”.

“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Mark 10:17

But notice how Jesus, in correcting the young man, did it out of love and not of anger. It is recorded for us that,

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Mark 10:21

What was that which the young ruler lacked? The apostle Matthew tells us,

“Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21

He lacked the revelation that no one can be perfect.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

Reading the account from Mark, it is almost as if you could feel the feeling of anguish that Jesus felt toward the young man, the same anguish that you would feel if your beloved child told you that you would not have loved him and provided for him if not for the fact that he was attaining perfect scores at school. How far your child is from the truth, isn’t it? Your love for him is simply because he is your son. Nothing else. And there is nothing else that he could do to make you love him more or less. Your love is a result of a position, a relationship, a status, not because of works.

Beloved child of God, this is what Jesus wants you to understand. His love for you is not conditional. His love for you is unconditional. No amount of good works that you can do, no amount of perfection that you can attain can ever make Him love you more. That was the message that Jesus was telling the young ruler; that if he wanted to be perfect, He could not. And the beautiful thing is, to Jesus, he need not.

In the same, you need not be perfect to merit blessings from Jesus. You need not be perfect to earn your place in heaven because He has already done that for you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

Jesus did not come to condemn you. Jesus came to save.

For “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Yes beloved child of God, our relationship with our Father is secure because of Jesus. There is no need to try anymore. He has done it all. There is no need to be perfect anymore. Because we cannot anyway. The only perfect sinless one has done it all and because of that, the door to everlasting blessings and protection and favor from God our Father is guaranteed. For Jesus said,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

So let us believe in the truth that Jesus has done it all for us and start asking from our Father because it glorifies Him to give, it pleases Him to give.

And if by chance you have yet to receive Jesus as your Savior, and you would like to respond to His call of salvation in your life today, say this prayer with me.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Thank You that by His death and His rising again, He has secured my eternal future in heaven with You. Thank You that through the shedding of His blood, I now receive the full remission of all my sins, past, present and future, and I am now in a right relationship with you. Father I know I cannot be perfect. And I know You don’t need me to be perfect. So Father that which the young ruler lacked, I now gain, a revelation that it is not by my works that I am pleasing to You, I am pleasing regardless of, apart from my works. Thank You Father for loving me so deeply. In Jesus' name, Amen.”

Beloved child of God, channel your energies from being perfect, to living in the consciousness of the right relationship you have with our Father. He has become your Father. Let your Father love you perfectly, completely and forever.

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