The story of the Rich Young ruler is one of those stories that is so familiar to us that we can be in danger of missing the point. For the point of the story is not so much about what the rich young man has but about what he has not. For even with all the wealth and ability and success in the world we cannot buy or earn our way into the Kingdom of God. What this rich young man lacks is the humility to accept that the one thing he most wants is the one thing that he can't win or earn for himself. For eternal life comes not as a reward for our own efforts but as a free gift of love from Jesus the giver of life.
It's not what the rich young man owns that stops him from receiving Jesus' invitation. Instead it's all the stuff he has that owns him. Notice that Jesus doesn't condemn the man for his wealth. Instead he looks on him with love and asks him to put all the stuff aside for something even better. It's a bit like spring cleaning really! The reason Jesus tells this young man to sell all his stuff is so that he has room in his heart for all the fullness of life that Jesus has for him.
The question for each of us is; What are we hanging onto that is stopping us from fully receiving all that Jesus is offering us? Time to do some clearing out don't you think?
Till next time... Andrew
Rev. Andrew Smith
Vicar of Light in the Hills