16Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.” 18-19The man asked, “What in particular?” Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.” 20The young man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?” 21″If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.”
22That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crest-fallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go. 23-24As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.” (Matthew 19v16-24)
Sigh. The last thing he wanted to hear was to let go of the things he was holding so tight.
I’m a rich young ruler, too. And Jesus says to me, “It’s hard for you to get to where I am. You think you’re rich and you’re trying to get into the kingdom with all of your richness. But you’re not. You can’t hold onto me because you’re tight-fisted with your life. Poor you. Let go and THEN talk to me about following.” And he watches me walk away, shaking his head at my obstenation and ignorance.