“Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” The man asked as he looked into the soft and peaceful eyes of Jesus yearning to know to obtain eternal life. This man was rich, had great possessions, and must have had much success in whatever he did. He probably had a nice home, good profits, and must have been envied by many in different ways. This man must have taken pride in his wealth by using it as a trophy for others to see how successful he was, but here he was in front of Jesus asking him, “Jesus, what “good” thing shall I do?”
The rich man begged and begged as he looked into what I presume as the soft and tender eyes of Jesus staring at him with love. Jesus was calm as He looked at the rich man that stood in front of Him begging for the answer of eternal life, and as Jesus looked at him with tender eyes, He said, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
But it is not about the commandments.
It is so much more than the commandments and so much more than good deeds and works, but it is about grace, surrender, and faith, but how this man must have felt when he heard the word “commandments.” He must have thought of all of the “good” things he did and all of the “good” things he had done for people, yet that’s not the point Jesus was making to him.
The point of grace is not about good works, for we cannot save ourselves by our own goodness, for none are good.
The point about grace is not about merits or deeds, for grace is not a competition and it is not a hierarchy of “who can be better,” and that was what was wrong with the Pharisees. The were so caught up in their self-righteousness “goodness” that when the Son of God was before them, they called Him a man of “blasphemy” due to Him claiming to be God, which He was.
In the end, the point of grace is so simple, dear rich man.
It is so, so simple, and yet the simplicity of it turned you away in sorrow.
However, the rich man was confused for he already did “good things,” so he told Jesus, ““All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” and Jesus must have looked at the man with sadness in His eyes as he yearned to know the secret to eternal life, for I am quite sure Jesus was aware that His next words would cause that hope in the rich man to fade away.
Jesus replied to the man, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
The rich man turned around and walked away in sorrow, for the one thing he could not give up was his possessions, and so the rich man walked away from the treasure he had found; the treasure that so little find in the field, but little did he know that walking away was his biggest mistake.
He walked away from the Son of God who is both God and man, perfect and holy, and filled with love and grace. Little did this man know that He walked away from literal heaven on earth; the man who was going to make a way when there was no way.
Little did the rich man know that he was trading the infinite and most precious treasure for earthly treasures that would fade away, and he walked away from the one who will be here when everything else dissolves like snow.
He walked away.
Jesus said that only few would find the treasure in the field while other people would say, “its just a field,” which the rich man saw the ugliness of the field and the “lack of purpose,” but little did this man know that in the field contained a precious treasure; a treasure that is so precious it cannot be destroyed, which was the grace of Jesus Christ that surpasses all understanding.
Oh, how I imagine the pain that Jesus must have felt as he watched the rich man walk away in sorrow, how I imagine the Lord wanting to grab the man into a hug while saying, “There is greater worth in my name than in those riches,” and how I imagine the Lord wanting the rich man to follow Him, but Jesus wasn’t going to force the rich man to love Him, and Jesus wasn’t going to force the man to see His worth; therefore, He let the man walk away, for Jesus loved him enough to give him free will.
The thing about grace is that it isn’t based on “good things” or deeds, but it is based on the surrendering onto Christ, for that is what He did for us. Christ surrendered His life so that we could be alive in Him, Christ surrendered His crown for a crown of thorns so that we could have a way to eternal life, and Christ stepped down from His throne to suffer under the hands of the Romans and to be betrayed so could live in His never-ending love.
So how could we not give up everything for Him; the man who gave it all to us? How could we not want to give it all up when Christ stepped down from His glorious throne to be a humble servant so that we could live in His kingdom one day? How could we be like the rich man and walk away when Christ went running after us as we left the 99?
Oh, dear rich man, how my soul cries for you, and how I wish I could just hug you and say, “The man that was in front of you loved you so much, that He was about to die for you.” Could you not see that the man who was before you was worth so much more than your riches, so much more than your possessions, and so much more than any earthly things or deeds, and yet you looked at your good works as worth more than the one before you.
Dear rich man, Jesus so deeply loved you, and yet you walked away. You walked away from the man who was about to defeat the grave, you walked away from the precious blood that was about to be spilled, and you walked away from the King; the one who was more than a teacher, but was God himself.
How my heart hurts for the rich man, how my heart hurts that he did not see that the priceless Son of God that was right there in front of him. He was able to hug Him, touch Him, and see His face, and yet he still walked away due to earthly things that will dissolve like snow.
If the rich man would have followed Christ, if he would have surrendered his all to Christ, and if he would have followed Him, he would have seen that Jesus was not just some “teacher,” but he would have realized that he was the Son of God and the King of heaven.
If the rich man would have surrendered it all for Him, he would have realized that the man who stood before him was going to suffer for him, was going to die for him, and was going to hang on a cross for him, and yet he walked away due to not wanting to surrender his all.
Dear rich man, it wasn’t about keeping commandments, it wasn’t about “good things,” nor was it about merits, but it is about the grace of Jesus, the surrendering of our souls to Christ, for He surrendered His life for us.
Why would I withhold all that I am from a God who died for me, who suffered under the hands of the very ones who claimed to love Him, and who wore a crown of thorns for me? Why would I withhold my heart and soul from a God who died so that I might live, and why would I walk away from the most precious treasure to ever walk the earth?
Give me Jesus; oh, give me Him when I rise, for He is the King of heaven who stepped down from His throne so that I might live with Him, that I might dwell with Him, and that I might have eternal life forever and ever.
So I surrender my all to Him, for He surrendered His life for me.
This world will dissolve like snow, but Jesus remains the same, He is steadfast, He is faithful, and His love endures forever with no end, so take the riches, take the money, and take the possessions, for I refuse to walk away from the one who is standing with His arms outstretched with grace, for it is in Him that all hope is found.
So dear rich man who walked away,
Jesus wanted you,
He stood before you with the answer,
He invited you into His arms,
He wanted you to surrender your all, for He was about to give you everything you needed, but due to failing to realize that the King stood before you, you choose earthly treasures rather than the treasure that would never die or dissolve like snow.
So dear rich man, how you did not realize that the man who was in front of you was going to love you like no other person could, like no riches could, and like no possessions could ever love, so dear rich man who walked away, He loved you, but due to your inability to surrender to Him, you couldn’t love Him back.
If only you realized that the field was more than field, but was a treasure.
If only you realized that the man who stood in front of you was so much more than a teacher,
And if only you realized that the man who stood before you was about to die for you.
If only you saw the treasure and the worthiness in the man before you.
At the end of the day, He wasn’t just a random teacher, but He was the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and God Himself as man, and due to His love for us and Him surrendering His life for us, He is worthy of us surrendering our all to Him, for grace isn’t a competition of who has more or who did more, but it is the act of falling humbly to His feet at His throne while surrendering our all due to realizing that He is worth more.
So dear rich man, it isn’t about doing a “good thing,” but it is about surrendering our all, for Christ surrendered His all for us, for when we surrender our all to Him, we are gaining infinite joy, life, and peace in His unfailing grace.
Therefore, when I see the treasure in the field as I fall humbly to His throne, I ask myself, “Why would i not surrender my all to the man who surrendered His all to me so that I might life with Him in His perfect love and grace?”
““Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44