Not Far From the Kingdom
“Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell… give… and follow me.”
Jesus loves every one, but there was something in this young man that specially drew out His affection. He saw in him many amiable qualities, many elements of beauty of character, many things that by divine grace could be made into great loveliness and power. There are many thoughts suggested by this statement. Here are a few of them: — Christ loves those who are not His disciples; some people think He loves only those who have begun to love Him. Christ is deeply interested in every young man; He beholds the possibilities in every young life. He sees lovable things even in the unsaved; but amiable qualities are not enough to save one.
Our Lord’s answer to the young man’s question is very instructive. What is the one thing which, besides all we can do for ourselves by obedience and cultivation of character, makes one a Christian? It is important to be able to answer this question, for it is often asked. A man says: “I live as well as Christians do. I attend church; I keep the commandments; I am kind to my family and generous to the needy and poor; I live conscientiously in all things. What do I lack?”
What shall we answer him? Shall we tell him to sell his farm of his property and give all he has to the poor? Was that the one essential thing in the Master’s counsel to this young man? No: the essential thing was following Christ; the selling and giving away were but parts of this. The young mans heart was attached to his wealth, and the “one thing” was to take Christ instead of his wealth. So we should answer our inquirer by telling him that he must accept Christ as his Saviour and Lord, that he must lay his money and all that he has at Christ’s feet, to be used only for Him and as He directs, and must take Christ as his sole portion for ever.
(Devotional for today from J.R. Miller, Come Ye Apart)