June 7, 2017
What attracts me to following Jesus, and what holds me back?
The story of the rich young ruler always intrigues me. He is obviously a righteous man. He keeps the law, in fact he diligently keeps them. When he speaks to Jesus about what to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus tells him you know the Commandments.
Why does Jesus bring these up? So often we focus on the being righteous. We keep the commandments and we make judgments accordingly. I haven’t killed someone today I’m doing pretty good. But Jesus doesn’t stop there, one thing you lack, sell everything and give it to the poor.
Right here Jesus tells us people are more important than laws. He tells the rich guy, while you keep the commandments, you have forgotten that the commandments are there to encourage us to encourage others. The command not to kill, means protect, promote, and encourage life not death. The command for not bearing false witness promotes honesty, humility, and equality of word and protecting the reputation of others.
How quickly I forget the relational aspect of the commandments. But what is keeping from remembering these? Selfishness. I am more concerned with myself and my comfort than the life of others. In my attempts to secure my own life, I build a prison locking myself in the walls of self. I’m so focused on myself that I cannot let others in, I must protect myself from them because they might take my stuff. Suddenly the commandments go out the window because I am justified to kill if it means keeping my possessions, I am fully allowed to be dishonest as ling as it promotes my own security. I am bound not free.
What attracts me to Jesus? He offers a lifestyle of freedom. But what keeps me from him? I am afraid of freedom because I am more concerned with security. Lord help me.