Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 17th August 2020: The cost of following Jesus

Matthew Chapter 19 Following Jesus Heaven

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 19

The rich young man

Then someone came to Jesus and said, 'Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?' And he said to him, 'Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.' He said to him, 'Which ones?' And Jesus said, 'You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'

The young man said to him, 'I have kept all these; what do I still lack?' Jesus said to him, 'If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.' When the young man heard his words, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

(New Revised Standard Version)


I wonder can you be honest with yourself - do you love things more than people? It's a hard question to answer honestly, and only if we are honest with ourselves will that answer possibly be "Yes".

The rich young man asks Jesus what must he do to have 'eternal life'. Notice that little word do that has crept in! This is the man's first mistake. He is thinking of what action he can take. Like the Pharisees, he imagines there is some rule he can obey.

The young man is looking for eternal life, but here is a problem. We tend to think that 'eternal life' is a life lived for ever. But the word for 'eternal' in Greek means 'a characteristic of God', and a characteristic of God is that He loved so much that He gave His only Son to the world. If we want to find eternal life; if we want to find happiness, satisfaction, and joy; we will do it by copying Jesus in serving our fellow human beings and giving of ourselves and what we possess, to help others. It's a hard cost to bear and we can only do it with God's help.

Monday 17th August, follow up thoughts


Almighty God,
we gave Your Son to save our world,
may we understand that to follow You
means more than obeying rules;
it means having the grace to give of ourselves
and all that we have,
to help our fellow human beings.
Help us to know we cannot do this
without your help,
and to grant us the courage to ask for that help.

Return to index