Monday, August 21, 2017

The Rich Young Man

"If you wish to be perfect..." 

Matthew 19:21

The rich young man in Matthew 19 is nameless. He can be anyone who desires to be good. He asked Jesus, "Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life?" Jesus answers that he must keep the commandments. He should not kill, commit adultery, steal, or lie. He should honor his parents and love his neighbor as he loves himself. 

We could easily have answered the same, "I have kept all these. What do I need to do further?" Jesus told him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven. After that, come back and follow me." 

The young man left, sad, grieved and in much distress, for he had many possessions. Upon hearing this passage, another 20-year-old, rich young man by the name of Anthony, gave up his wealth to live in the desert for 20 years. Saint Anthony of Egypt, known as the 'Father of Monasticism', inspired many other men to give up worldly wealth and become monks in the desert. 

Not all of us are called to do this. Like the rich young man in Matthew 19, we should ask God what to do, for I believe, we were all born with a mission. Yesterday I was listening to a couple talking with their daughter. The young girl was a little anxious because she was told by her father that one day their nice house would be her responsibility, and that she should always share the blessing with others. This hospitable couple always lent their vacation house to others for retreats or a rest break and did not ask for payment. "How will I get the money to maintain the house? It's so expensive to let people use the house. Just the water, electricity and the subdivision dues cost so much!" The couple reassured their daughter that God will provide as He always does.

How do we become perfect? The road to perfection is a journey, and one we never undertake alone. We should walk with Jesus our friend, continuously talk with Him and ask Him the way. 

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:^) Patsy