But With God

Love fills the air as Sweetheart Candies and chocolates in heart-shaped boxes exchange hands.  Bear balloons and rose arrangements are grasped as doorbells ring.  Valentine's Day arrives once again.  Some will be hugging; some will be kissing.  Others will be saddened by missing - missing the loved one who is no longer by their side. 

Valentine's Day brings many emotions.  Other days do, also.

One such day occurred for an inquisitive man who approached Jesus.

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 
Matthew 19:16

As the conversation continues, the man hears Jesus' response to his follow-up question inquiring as to which of the commandments he should keep.  Jesus said . . .

18 . . . “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony,
honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 19:18-19 (NIV)

Upon hearing those words, the emotion of joy filled the man; he even experienced a bit of pride, I trust.  Yet the joy would give way.

When the young man heard this, he went away sad . . .  Matthew 19:22 (NIV)

Why the sadness?  Because he was wealthy and Jesus had just told him that in order to follow Him, he must sell his possessions.

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Matthew 19:21 (NIV)

Why did Jesus demand such a sacrifice  We reason that, for that man, wealth was a barrier keeping him from following Jesus.  Barriers of many types hinder the way of would-be disciples.  Whatever they may be, the one who says, "come, follow me" offers a way to knock them down.

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:25-26 (NIV)


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