Can there be anything worse than a husband promising his wife he’ll pick up items on her grocery list on his way home, then when she’s unpacking the bags she says, “Where’s the milk? That was first on my list!” Or maybe you find that your luggage is missing at the airport…when you’ve just arrived in Orlando for a week of family vacation at Disney. A week of family vacation. A week!
Missing milk. Missing luggage. Could there be anything worse? Yes.
Imagine arriving at heaven’s door and being told you can’t go in because you’re lacking one thing. Just one thing missing. Now that would be worse.
Well, that’s what Jesus told a sharp young man when the he asked Jesus how he could get eternal life. After a brief conversation, Jesus told him one thing was missing.
The event is recorded in Mark 10 and it starts out sounding so promising…at first, anyway (Mark 10:17). Here comes a sharp young man showing all sorts of enthusiasm; he falls on his knees in front of Jesus and asks a very important question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Well, Jesus begins by quoting a list of the Ten Commandments, to which the man replied, “I’ve kept all these since I was a boy.” Sounds good so far.
Jesus moved on from the Ten Commandments, and told the man, “One thing you lack…” Just one thing? Wow, this man was right up there to almost having a perfect field goal kick or a ringer of a putt, but he misses one thing…and I groan.
Let me give you the whole verse, and see if you catch which part of it is Jesus is referring to as the “one thing you lack.”
Mark 10:21 One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.
If all you saw in that verse was that this man should sell his stuff and give it to the poor, I think you missed the more important part of the verse. Obeying the Ten Commandments or giving all you have to the poor is not sufficient to find eternal life. But when Jesus said “Come, follow Me,” that was the answer this man needed for his original question about finding eternal life. That was the one thing this man lacked. Jesus not only had the answer, but Jesus was the answer. “Come, follow Me.”
Problem solved, right? Wrong. The next verse says the man’s face fell and he walked away. He chose his wealth instead of the eternal life Jesus offered him. And, at that, I groan and sigh. The kick went wide, then fell short.
If something seems missing, it’s worth checking out the same invitation Jesus offers to you today: “Come, follow Me.”
Bernie Simmons and his wife, Sue, have been a part of Grace for many years, faithfully serving families for much of that time through GraceKIDS. More recently Bernie enjoyed continued ministry through various teaching and pastoral care opportunities, spending a significant portion of his time leading teams that serve in local nursing homes. Now retired, he still serves as an elder and Bernie and Sue continue to call Grace their church home.