Last time we saw that a rich young man had addressed Jesus as “Good Teacher” and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by saying that only God is truly good. Then He recited several commandments that should have confirmed the man’s great need for God’s mercy and forgiveness. But, caught up in his own self-righteousness, the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was a child.” The man was deceiving himself – Jesus knew it – but the young man needed to realize it also. So, Jesus lovingly said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” In essence Jesus is saying: You think you’ve loved your neighbor as yourself; yet you live in luxury while others around you are destitute. You boast of perfection, but do you serve God or yourself with your wealth? Give to the poor and follow Me – your needs will be provided, and in following Me, you will indeed learn of your utter spiritual neediness and My gift of forgiveness that alone meets that need. “At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” Jesus had hit the nerve of what this young man trusted in. What are you trusting in? God constantly offers us His goodness, mercy and forgiveness because Jesus kept the commandments perfectly for all of us and then paid for all sin with His innocent blood. He alone is truly good and completely trustworthy. Only in Him can our souls find true rest.
“Only God is truly good.” [Part Two] (Mark 10:18)
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