Numbers have intrigued me recently. Not the book of Numbers but actual numbers like 300, 5000 and 4000 were the titles of recent posts that focused on stories from the bible. This one is by far the most intriguing for me. I hope the following would explain why.
The person in focus in this story taken from Mark 10:17-27 was about a rich young man who ran up to Jesus and knelt down before him to ask how he could inherit eternal life. The man said he had followed all the laws that was required of him and had been diligent and obedient from a young age. Jesus knew this man’s heart and asked him: “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” This young man turned away in sorrow and despair. It was because he had many possessions and it was clear that he could not part with them.
One of the thoughts I had was whether Jesus was asking too much. Yes, it was one thing but it was a whole lot of `one thing’ for this man. However, after reading again carefully, Jesus said, “You LACK one thing”. That man had a lot of things but he lacked ONE thing. Ok, the subsequent verses also talked about how difficult it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God such that even the disciples asked Jesus, “Then who can be saved?”.
What is that lack? I believe that it has to do with the heart. The heart is meant to be given to God and like that rich young man, we can do all the rituals and follow all the laws diligently and daily but never really give our heart to God. Something or someone else has gotten our heart above God. This reminds me of another passage from Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Well, the story focused on wealth that has taken the heart of that young man away from God but this can apply to anything that has taken our heart away from God.
I ask myself this question “What is that ONE thing I lack, that is holding me back from God?” I know some of us may be thinking that there are MANY things… but we need to start somewhere.