Mark 10:17-22 – “And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 “You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'”20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.” NASB
This is one of the saddest accounts in the Bible. The words, “he went away” are heart-wrenching when you consider what was at stake. This short revelation contains the tragedy of a soul. I do not believe you can read it without feeling a touch of the heartache and the pain that was in Jesus’ heart as He watched the man walk away. It has the power to make you feel lonely and empty, at least that’s the effect it has on me.
“He Went Away.” Jesus did not put his hands on his shoulders and push him away. It was not that Jesus looked into his soul and saw stains that made discipleship impossible. Jesus did not read the man’s yesterday and tell him that the soiled pages of his past made it impossible for him to enter in. NO! It just says, “He Went Away.”
This man held his destiny in his own hands. He had the power to say Yes or No. Sadly, his response was No. It was no because he turned and walked away refusing to follow Jesus. The LORD had asked something of him that he could not see himself giving up – Mammon was more powerful in his heart that his desire for salvation.
That is more than a little tragic! There was not a person in the New Testament who had a personal encounter with Jesus that was richer in possibilities than this young man. One moment he was running courageously to meet Jesus, kneels at his feet, and the next he is walking away empty.
CONSIDER THE ASSETS HE BROUGHT TO THE ENCOUNTER…
He has material wealth. That does not make him better than anyone else, but he had resources to be used greatly in the kingdom. Money is condensed energy and pent up power and force. It is an extension of our lives and when consecrated to God does enormous good. This man was Rich!
He was also a ruler. That does not make him better or more special than anyone else but in his position, he could influence more than most of us will in our lifetime. He was in a position to make laws and affect people’s lives positively or negatively.
He is young. That does not make him better than someone who is old but, in his youth, he was likely to have more time left on earth than someone in their sunset years. There is no better time to surrender to Jesus than in our youth. The rest of our lives are then focused and directed toward His service. What a treasure to be young and committed to God.
He possessed a noble restlessness as was expressed in his inquiry of the LORD. He was not satisfied with the status quo and wanted to know what more he had to do to press into the fullness of God. When a person is self-satisfied, they see no reason to learn more, become more and become stagnant. He wanted that which would lift him higher than where he was spiritually. He recognized his deficiency.
He eagerly sought that which would expand the peace of his heart. He was eager and enthusiastic. He ran to Jesus! He was a man of courage because a man in his position was looked down upon for reaching out to Jesus. He was reverent. A humorist said sarcastically, “If you were to examine the bump of reverence on the head of modern man you would find it a dent.” That was not this man, he was reverent and recognized Jesus as one worthy of reverence. He was morally clean. He had kept the Law.
Jesus looked at this man, saw his heart, and reached out to him in love. He saw the potential. Our LORD also saw that which held his heart and exposed it giving him an opportunity to give up earthly treasures for eternal wealth. Mammon held his heart too tightly and “He Went Away.”
I want to address this a little more in the next devotional, but I plead with each of us to hear carefully what the Holy Spirit is saying to our hearts and do not be one that “Walks Away.” What Jesus offers is worth more than anything!
God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!