Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21, NIV).
The rich young ruler thought he was perfect because he did all the right religious things, but Jesus knew he wasn’t. Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect, he should sell everything he had and give it to the poor, and then follow Jesus.
What Jesus said is profound at many levels, and there are many ways to explain what he meant. I want to focus on a very simple point, and it’s that Jesus knows that it’s always our “stuff” that keeps us from following him.
There are two kinds of “stuff” that hinder us. Jesus was talking primarily about material “stuff,” and that is very important because your attitude toward material “stuff” usually reflects the “stuff” in your heart. In other words, Jesus knew that how you use your money reflects what you truly value in your life.
Material “stuff” is a very subtle trap. We may have to get rid of it.
But the most important stuff that can stop you from following Jesus is the “stuff” of the heart. This might be your pride, self-reliance, your distrust, your hurts, and resentments, or the forgiveness that you have withheld from others.
Whatever it is, get rid of the “stuff” that stops you from following Jesus. Then you will be more like Jesus.
Eli’s Reflection: What’s the stuff that’s hindering you from following Jesus more fully? Although it may be the hardest thing in the world to do, what are you going to do about it?
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.