Many people miss the real lesson of the rich young ruler Jesus met up with in Mark 10:17-22. Remember that? It is the one about the man going away sad after Jesus told him to; “Go…sell whatever you have and give to the poor…and come follow Me.”(Verse 21) But is this story about poverty being more spiritual than wealth? Are we all supposed to sell all we have in order to follow Christ?
Let’s take another look. When the rich young ruler first asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life the Lord reminded him of the Ten Commandments. But the man countered with; “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” (Verse 20) Jesus responded; “One thing you lack…” (Verse 21) Seeing deeply into the young man’s heart, Jesus was ready to challenge this assertion with a little test.
The truth was that this young man had made an idol out of his wealth and had thereby broken the very first commandment; “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3) The test exposed him and rather than lay the idol down, he “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Verse 22)
So now, what is our lesson? Say you met Jesus on the road today, what one thing would he say you lack? Ask him. If you are serious about following Christ it would be worth finding out.