17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered.“No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
— Mark 10, The Message
How often I’ve struggled with this notion. Could I give it all up? Could I give up everything?
When I struggle though, it’s because I’m forgetting WHY I’d be giving it all up. Why am I giving it up?
“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic – what a find! — and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money to buy that field.”
–Matthew 13:44, The Message
Radical! Fantastic! Like the treasure itself there is real value buried here.
You’re the trespasser in the field and the field is for sale. You stumble on the treasure. It’s more valuable than anything else you could work for or find in life. More valuable than all you have now or will ever have.
You realize that no one else is aware of what you’ve found, so you quickly hide it and then leave. Once home you begin to sell everything you have. You get rid of it all! You stop at nothing – so that you can raise enough money to buy that field, and with it – the treasure.
The treasure is so valuable to you that you give up everything to have it.
In the end, you’re not really getting rid of everything at all. Instead you’re gaining everything. You have to give up what you have and know to gain the promise of what you might have.
Jesus is something – someone – worth giving up everything for.
Some of the most profound truths are the simplest to understand. Yet…
How do we actually do this?