CHANCE OF A LIFETIME
Did you watch "It's a Wonderful Life" this recent holiday season? The above picture is where George is talking on the phone to Sam about a job while severely distracted by being so close to Mary. . . then drops the phone, takes ahold of Mary's shoulders and begins to tell her he doesn't want the job Sam is talking about, (calling it the CHANCE OF A LIFETIME). George's heart wins out and he begins kissing and loving on Mary. Soon to be . . wedding bells. And they lived happily ever after? Nope . . Mr. Potter is a Grench-sort-of-a-guy trying to take over Bailey Building and Loan. He steals money which Uncle Billy unknowingly put inside Potter's newspaper. Now it's jail time for George or else. I won't spoil the ending if you've never seen it before. Jerry and I know the words by heart.
This is another CHANCE OF A LIFETIME in the happening in New Testament times. (Matthew 19:16-26 / Mark 10:17-22 / Luke 18:18-27.) Jesus is in the white robe on the left and face to face with a rich young ruler, a white cloth wrapped around his head. The ruler asked what he should do to obtain eternal life. Jesus answered that he needed to keep the commandments. "Which ones?" the young ruler asked. Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your mother and father, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The man answered, "All these things I have kept from my youth."
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "One thing you still lack, sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor; and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.
Mark 10:22-23 states, "But at these words, he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property."
And Jesus, looking around said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!" Please read Mark 10:24-31 to see the rest of this discussion.
Surprised that Jesus told him he was only lacking one thing?
Yet he was so rich, how could he be lacking anything?
The text also states that this man kneeled before Jesus. That was not the custom at that time for rulers.
Mark tells us that Jesus looked at him and loved him. I must say here that even if this man had broken all the commandments, Jesus would still love him. But the man came to Jesus because he knew there was something lacking in his life.
IS THERE SOMETHING LACKING IN YOUR LIFE . . OR MINE?
There is something hopeful that he went away grieving . . . because he didn't go away mad. There is no record of what ultimately happened to this man. I hope he did as Jesus asked.
Listen to Romans 8:18 which was written by Paul:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
So many are suffering due to Covid. Our country is divided even more after what happened at the Capitol. Where can we find peace = in the Great Physician, Jesus. Jesus saw what was inside the young rich ruler's heart and that it was the most important thing to him.
If he changes his mind and does what Jesus told him, he will be gaining eternal life. He would be trading what it's not certain he can keep (money & property) for what he cannot lose (eternal life).
Jesus can diagnose us too. He is the Great Physician. He knows what is most important to us. He wants it to be Himself. He is the way to eternal life. He is also an anchor and peace in the midst of the storm.