The rich young man doesn’t understand. Even as he kept the commandments, he just can’t bear to separate himself from his worldly possessions. Instead of inheriting eternal life, he went away dejected. He could not claim the promise of life in God’s kingdom, because his many possessions had their claim upon him.
It isn’t just the rich young man who wanders into this trap. We all fall short in our attempts to live a godly life. Yet, no matter how much we try, no person has the power to save their life for eternity. Even the selling of all we own and giving the money to the poor, as noble as it would seem, is not enough to purchase a place in God’s kingdom forever. That, as Jesus says, is humanly impossible; we need a Savior. Thankfully, in Christ we have one.
Through the life, death and resurrection of his Son, our heavenly Father does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God claims us, forgives us and saves us. Through Christ, God makes us inheritors of his kingdom. The rich young man didn’t understand; his wealth could not buy him a place at God’s table. Yet, through Christ Jesus the banquet was already prepared and waiting for him. All he had to do was give thanks and follow.
Prayer: Holy God, we thank you for your mercy and grace through Christ Jesus. Give us the will to follow him. Amen.