Today’s evening gospel reading, touches on a topic, that nobody really wants to talk about.
Jesus wanted little children to come to him because he loves them and because they have pure trust in God. All people need childlike faith in God. The receptiveness of little children was a great contrast to the stubbornness of the religious leaders, who let their pride of position and desire to ruthlessly protect it stand in the way of the simple faith needed to believe in Jesus.
This rich young man in the text thought he was perhaps just one or two good deeds away from punching his ticket to heaven and enjoying eternal life on his terms. What he really needed, however was a whole new starting point for his life. Instead of adding another commandment to keep or a good deed to perform, the young man needed to submit humbly to Jesus authority. Resist any leader or teaching that stresses doing more and more for your faith. Tasks does need to be done, but Jesus wants more than anything else to have a personal relationship with us.
In response to the young man’s question, Jesus told him to keep God’s Ten commandments. Jesus then listed six of these, all referring to relationships with others. When the young man replied that he had kept the commandments, Jesus told him that he must do something else quite different – sell everything and give the money to the poor. Jesus statement exposed the man’s weakness and his deepest desire. In reality, the man’s wealth was his god, his idol and he would not give it up. Thus, he was violating the first and greatest commandment.
We cannot love God with all our hearts and yet keep our money to ourselves. Loving him totally means using our money in ways that pleases him.