Monday, February 15, 2016

The Perfect Life

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 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.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
(Matthew 19: 16 - 22)
The conversation above was one that ensued between Jesus and a rich young man as recorded in Matthew 19. At first, the young man asked Jesus about eternal life and it's requirements, sincerely seeking to know about the mystery of eternal life. Jesus listed out the requirements to those to him. The interesting thing to note though is that he (the young man) was still the one who pointed out that he was still lacking, even after doing all he needed to do to have eternal life - it was NOT Jesus who pointed out that he was lacking. 

Jesus' reply to his 2nd question, "What do I still lack?" was so profound. 

"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."

‎So, there's a difference between having eternal life i.e salvation and being made perfect. Perfection is attained simply by letting go of our dearest possessions, all we cling to, all that could potentially take the place of Jesus - give it all up and follow Jesus. For the young man, it was material wealth. Maybe that was his only claim to respect as a young man. The older folks had to listen to him and do as he says because he's 'rich'. Maybe he had worked so hard to accumulate that wealth or maybe it was just fear of the unknown (you never can tell when you'll need money), or maybe he was an 'omo baba olowo' - he had been rich all his life and a life of penury wasn't appealing to him. 

So he refused to let go and missed out on perfection. In the same way, God is asking us to let go of what's dearest to us not because we WANT eternal life but because we HAVE eternal life. His desire for us is that we "...Set our eyes on things above and not on things below" so we can follow Jesus. 

What is God asking you to let go of? What's that thing that wont let you follow Jesus totally? Without letting go, there will be no following (of Jesus). And it's the act of following that makes one a Christian. 

God bless you. I know He'll speak to you in ways that I can't. When He does, please listen and do as he says - do all He says -and believe me, from that point on your life will be made perfect. 

Yours in Christ,

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