Luke 18:18-23 ¶ A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-- except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'" 21 "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.I started counting the commandments that Jesus was quoting to the young man. Do not commit adultery...one...do not murder...two...do not steal...three...do not five false testimony...four...honor your father and mother...five. Then Jesus stops. What about the rest? There are ten commandments, yet Jesus only mentions 5 of them here. Are these the only important ones?
So I flipped back to Deuteronomy 5 to check out which ones had been left out: You shall have no other God before me, you shall not make idols, you shall not take the LORD's name in vain, observe the Sabbath. These are the first 4 commandments.
I thought about these for a minute - the first 4 commandments deal with our relationship to God. The next 6 deal with our relationship to others. So maybe Jesus only wanted to list the 6 that deal with the young man's relationship to others. There's just one problem. He left one out. In Luke 18, Jesus only listed 5, not 6 commandments.
Deuteronomy 5:21 says "You shall not covet..." Interesting. What did Jesus tell the young ruler was missing? He said
"You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."This young man seemed to have an attachment to stuff. He did know all the commandments. He had kept them all...except one - do not covet. To covet means to desire something or someone that is not your to have.
Jesus told the young man to sell all his stuff and give the money to the poor. Does that mean we all should sell all our stuff and give the money to the poor? Of course not...maybe.
Jesus wants all of you. He doesn't want you to just keep some commandments and do good. He wants your heart. He wants you sold out to Him. If stuff is keeping you from following Him, the you need to get rid of your stuff. If time is keeping you from following Him, then you need to free up your time. Clear out your busy schedule and make time. Unfortunately many of us are not willing to give up the things that are important to us. It's these things that keep us from completely following Jesus.
What do you need to get rid of? Stuff? Busyness? May you take the steps to do whatever it takes to separate yourself from whatever it is that is keeping you from God.