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CityLight Pastor Commentary:
Jesus put His finger on the one thing He knew the rich young ruler would never be able to give up. Honest self-reflection will reveal that each and every single one of us is strikingly similar to the rich young ruler: we all have things we are unwilling to give up. These are idols, and Jesus wants us to pull them up by the roots and give Him our sole focus and desire.
But Jesus is saying so much more here. Notice how Jesus phrases His offer: He gives the young man the chance to be ‘perfect’ (Matt 19:21), but only on the condition that he can become sinless. The point here is not to encourage mandatory poverty; Jesus’ point is to illustrate that we can only become perfect through Him. Perfection is impossible for anyone but Jesus Christ. We will always have something – some idol or some sin – we can never quite give up; but when we are covered in the blood of the Lamb, we are washed white as snow.
“Father, thank You that I am made perfect in Your Son. The blood of Jesus Christ makes me clean – even in spite of my flaws, failings and idol worship. Help me to realize that the only way to cast out darkness is to look at the Light!”
© Michael D. White, 2014. All rights reserved.