Until recently I had always thought that the story of the rich young ruler was about money. After all, it is the thing that Jesus asks the man to give up in order to follow Him. Not being a rich man myself it has been easy to gloss over this story and think, “Yes, that is a good lesson for some people to learn. I see why it was included in the Gospels.” But after a second look I realized that Jesus was speaking to me too through this story.
The young ruler approaches Jesus to be validated. He asks the question of what it takes to inherit eternal life thinking that he is doing everything that is needed. This guy is an upstanding citizen and follows all of the rules. I’m sure he got a big smirk on his face when Jesus gave him a short list of the the commandments. This guy obeyed every one of them to a T. He was have been excited. But then Jesus asks him to do something that He asks each of us to do: surrender everything and follow Him. This story is not about money, it is about SURRENDER. The one thing that the man in the story didn’t want to surrender was his money. What is it for you? What is your thing? Maybe it’s money or control or something else, but Jesus asks the same question of each of us. Are we willing to surrender everything in order to follow Him? Jesus doesn’t need our money, but He will settle for now less than our complete surrender if we are to be disciples of Him.
Take a little time today to ask the Lord what it is that He is asking you to surrender. For all of us it seems like death to think about giving up that very thing that we latch on to for security, but until we are willing to do that we will remain as mere observes of Jesus and not His followers.