Rich Young Ruler, Matthew 19:16-30
I thought this was a great devotion and I think the author really nailed the heart of the issue.
We live the life that millions of people around the globe covet. Whether we believe it or not, we too have affluence and influence beyond what other can even dream of. We have the right to vote, to own our own homes, to choose schools for our kids and careers for ourselves, to eat a variety of foods and to worship however and whomever we choose. Yet our hearts are often unfulfilled and our souls disquieted.
When the rich young ruler goes to Jesus, he is surprised that Jesus tells him to cast aside the things that make him feel most worthy to get the fulfillment that he is lacking. But aren’t those the very signs of God’s blessings on this man? Doesn’t that make him who he is? He concludes that he can live without fulfillment if he must, but he cannot live without the security of his tried and true safety net – his wealth.
Did you notice that Jesus started with the fifth commandment not the first? Jesus started with the commandments of how we are to treat each other, not the commandment about God being first in our lives. I think Jesus knew that this was where the rich young ruler had problems. He had never given God the honor and respect that God is due because it would have meant letting go of that which he loved the most – his money.
What makes us feel worthy or gives us the greatest sense of security? Or more to the point, what if it were taken away would unnerve us the most? Faith is getting to the point where we truly believe that God is our greatest sense of security, the only safety net that we will ever need.