The Lord knows what makes us tick – what our inner motivations are – better than anyone else!
A rich you guy came up to Jesus… obviously, something had been bothering him… he had a lot of money and plenty of “toys”… but there was still something missing! A lot of people looked up to him! He was the epitome of success… probably “dressed for success,” enjoyed a lot of recognition in the community, attended a prestigious synagogue, lived a good life – in every way looked like it had it all together… But deep within there was still something missing… a haunting uncertainty… “eternal life”? What about “eternal life?” What happened after death? Could you get “insurance” for that? Was that an “investment” you could make?
He had heard Jesus knew a lot about those kind of issues… so he put on his best suit, and approached Jesus at one his meetings respectfully after one of his talks… “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?”
Jesus suggested a few commandments from the Torah… The Bible. His response? “I’ve kept all of those to the best of my ability… But there’s still something missing!
I think Jesus knew Him inside-out! He knew what “made him tick!” (He knows us all that completely and thoroughly!) He knew this incredibly successful young businessman had a “stealth god” … Materialism! Mammon! Money! Perhaps even, God forbid, greed!!
Jesus nailed his issue! Here’s what the Bible says about the encounter… “Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich!
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.’” (Matthew 19:21–24 NET)
Jesus knows us inside-out! He knows what motivates us deep within! Our “stealth god” may be money and possessions (it is for many people – it even was to a degree for Peter… read the next verses and Peter’s “what will there be in it for us” comment). But for you and me it may be something else. Jesus knows… He’ll put His finger on it if we’ll ask Him. Oh my! I’ve got to tell you… “I don’t want to go away sorrowful” because I’m unwilling to deal with it! I want “eternal life” more than anything else! I don’t want any other “gods” before Him! I want to serve Him with a “pure (undivided) heart,” don’t you?