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.”
The story of the rich young ruler is about a man who seemed to have everything, but not what he could have had. He asks Jesus this question, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Jesus replied, “keep the commandments.” The young man asks, “’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?’” (Matthew 19:18-20). Jesus, knowing all things, tells him after having obeyed these commandments, if he were to be perfect, complete, he must detach himself from his material possessions. The scripture says, this young man had great possessions, but obviously these great possessions had him.
We should ask ourselves, “do I have control of worldly things, or do they have control over me?” Without doubt, these things had dominion over him for when Jesus, the Eternal Life whom he was seeking, said, “give up your earthly wealth and come follow Me,” the young man rejected Christ’s offer. Therefore, he went away sad, fearing to let go of the earthly for the heavenly. He had done these externals, but externals alone can never make one perfect, complete. Christianity is not only doing the externals, going to church, and doing good deeds, but it is giving up this world. Do you value Christ over your possessions? Have you given your all? Paul says, “for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ is Eternal riches. He alone is heaven’s treasure!
“If you want to be perfect …”