HE LACKED LOVE
Mark 10:17-22, "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."
The Turning Point
This young man faced a very critical decision. Should he continue on the way he was going, or should he go another way? Every person comes to this place when they come face to face with Jesus Christ and their own sinfulness. This young man had many good things for he came running to Jesus. He had a great desire to obtain eternal life and knew who to ask. He didnít go to the Pharisees or Sadducees. He came directly to Jesus Christ. He kneeled before the Master, showing that he knew Jesus was the one who could give him what he needed. He called Jesus "Good", for he believed Jesus was a good man, a good teacher, a man who would lead him right. It is very doubtful he recognized Jesus as God, for Jesus told him God was the only good one.
The Love of Jesus
It was not until verse 21 that the Bible states that Jesus "loved him". Note when the love of Jesus comes. Jesus did not love the man because he came running to Him, or because he kneeled before Him and called Him "Good Master". Jesus didnít reveal His love for the man until he confessed that he had kept all the commandments and still didnít have eternal life. Note: Jesus didnít love him because of all the things he had done, or was trying to do. He loved the man because of what he was, a sinner unable to help himself. The Lord looked on the heart, not on outward actions. It is a very precious love which knows, "He loved me and gave Himself for me."
The Work He Must Do
There was only one thing the young man lacked. He did not lack desire, earnestness, or background. He was very orthodox and well taught. He seemed to have everything "religion" required, but he was unwilling to turn loose of his goodness and accept the goodness of Jesus.
Jesus instructed him to sell everything he owned, and give it to the poor, then he would have treasure in heaven. Jesus is really telling him to stop trusting in himself and trust Jesus.
This instruction is very severe. This man had trusted his righteousness all his life, and now Jesus is telling him to get rid of his good works for they will do him no good. Lost people must stop trusting their "good works", realize they are helpless sinners in the sight of God, and accept the free gift of salvation.
This is a very needful instruction. He seemed to be saying, "Iíll take my righteousness and let Jesus add something to it so Iíll be perfect." But this is not the way it works. We must realize that our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, they must be discarded before we can have the righteousness of God.
The greatest work this man could have worked would be to believe Jesus, John 6:28,29. But he turned from Jesus and "went away".
Where did he go? He went back to his old life. A life of unsatisfying "goodness" and trusting in uncertain riches. He turned aside from the convicting words of Jesus because he had too much time, money and energy invested in his own righteousness to forsake it for eternal righteousness.
Where did he go? We know that he eventually went to the grave. As far as what is recorded in the Bible, this man died lost. Therefore, he eventually went to hell.
Where will you, lost friend, go? If you turn from Jesus, you will also go to the grave without Him. That means you will go to hell. These are terrible words, but true ones. What will you do with Jesus?