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. But at these
words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned
much property. Mark 10:21-22
The rich mans sadness at Jesus instructions to him reveal
that he was unwilling to listen not only to God, but even to someone he
considered to be a good teacher. What were his motives for asking the
question in the first place? Was he trying to receive approval and confirmation
that his religion could or would save him, assure him his place in heaven,
and thereby ease his conscience? Or worse, was he looking for a way to
trumpet his self-righteousness before others and out-righteous
even a good teacher?
What is my true motive in asking questions of teachers, or even God? Is
it to justify living in my own religion or system of righteousness? Or
is it to empty myself of all I think will earn me heaven or Gods
or mans approval, being willing to face my own spiritual poverty,
nakedness, and blindness and be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus
alone? Is it to enter into true spiritual intimacy and communion with
Him, dying to myself and my own way, and living for Him?
Yet Gods unconditional love is extended to me even in my self-righteousness
that I might go (repent); sell ( divest myself of all I cling to for security);
give (love); come (enter into relationship with Jesus); and follow (humble
myself and obey God).