In the passage below, Jesus hints at the first commandment which the rich man has not obeyed and which is therefore preventing him entering the kingdom of heaven (Exodus 20:3-6). The rich man’s possessions and the money were more dear to him than the Lord God. The man was effectively worshipping the money and choosing to put his faith in his wealth rather than in God. What is interesting is the fact that Jesus feels genuine love for the man even as he lets him know why he is not yet ready for the kingdom of heaven. That’s the point, Jesus loves us now, as we are. Even if we are not yet ready for the kingdom. Jesus loved the man so much because he showed a genuine desire to do better.
Mark 10:17-22 NLT
As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honour your father and mother.’ ” “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
It is true, that most of us could say we have obeyed a number of the ten commandments. But what good does that really do us if we fail on the first and greatest of the commandments? Having managed some of the other commandments during my life, it is now my main focus to keep the first one.
Dear Lord and Father, thank you for your word through which I have learned so much of Jesus’s way. Thank you that you love us even before we have turned from our former lives and I pray in the name of you son Jesus, that you will keep a place for me in your kingdom for when I have done the things that I have not yet done. Amen
Leviticus 24:1-25:46, Mark 10:13-31, Psalms 44:9-26, Proverbs 10:20-21