Do you think you are perfect?
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
“At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” – Mark 10:17-22
What is getting in the way of you serving God? Is it your wealth, your work, your family, or your social life?
The things of this world are only good while you are in the world. We cannot take our worldly possessions with us. According to Ecclesiastes 5:15, “Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs.”
The things that we accumulate, during our sojourn here on earth, cannot get us to heaven. Therefore, we should not let the things of this life separate you from God. Eternal life is much more important than the trappings of this world.
Everything that we have, God gave to us. He gave us the health, strength, and knowledge to amass them. He also has the power to take them away from us, including our life.
In the above text, a rich man approached Jesus and enquired of him, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus instructed him to follow the Commandments.
The young man full of self-righteousness, considered himself a perfect example of what Jesus expected. In his own mind, he kept the Commandments perfectly. Therefore, he was entitled to eternal life.
Like the young man in the story, there are people who boast that they do not sin. In their corrupted mind, they live a perfect life, consequently, deserving God’s favor.
To clarify and justify their righteousness, they delineate a litany of things that they do not do.
They say that they do not sin and if they do not sin, then they should be judged as righteous before God.
Scripture tells us in Isaiah 64: “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Without God’s grace and mercy, we can do nothing to please God.
This rich young man like many young people asked a question to which he wanted to supply the answer. Yes, he had the answer to his own question. He thought he knew everything.
Unfortunately, he could not see his folly.
What about you, will you humble yourself before God? Will you just shut up and let the Lord have his way in your life? The young man who thought he had done everything right, in reality, had done everything wrong.
After the young man had pitched his own righteousness, we are told, “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” In other words, Jesus could only pity this poor young man. He thought he was a perfect example of what God expects of us.
How is your life? Do you think that you are perfect? Jesus speaks to us all as he spoke to that rich young man. Why? Because Jesus can see in our hearts as he saw into the heart of that rich young man. He knows what is holding us back. He knows what is stopping us from making sacrifices for the ministry in both time and money. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.