This post is one in a series of reflections for Lent. I invite you to go back and read the previous reflections.
A young religious leader approaches Jesus. I really find in his question a great bit of sincerity. I think he is honestly asking Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him that he should obey the commandments. He responds that he has kept them from his childhood. Jesus takes it to the next level. The law was a list of don'ts. Jesus tells him to sell everything he owns and give it to the poor. It is not enough to keep yourself from doing harm to your neighbor. Now there are things that you should do for your neighbor. The man is disappointed. He cannot bring himself to part with his worldly possessions. He has too much to give up.
Jesus teaches how hard it is for the rich to inherit the kingdom. What are we trusting in? Do we trust in Christ alone, or are we trusting in something else. No person will find it easier to trust completely in God, than the one who has so little that they are trusting for their very survival. The same can be said about sinners. No person will find more freedom and forgiveness in Christ, than the one who has many sins to cover. When we grow up in the church, and avoid most big sins, then it is easy not to see our own desperate need for a Savior. Are we trusting in the mercy of Christ, or do we think we are not nearly as bad as others? Jesus is our only means to reconciliation. I am every bit as bad as I try to convince people I am not. That is fine. I am not trusting in my own goodness. I am trusting in the free gift of the grace of God.
There is a brokeness that will accompany our submission to God. Short of that then you really have to question the sincerity of a faith. Is a faith that never truly believes that it is in need of a Savior, a faith that leads to salvation? Jesus talks about the wheat and the tares. Are those who have never really reached that brokeness the tares? I am not sure. I am not a theologian. I find myself compiling a list of questions for Jesus. That is going to be one of them. My concentration should be solely focused on my own salvation. I should be in a constant state of humbling myself. Whenever I get a little big for my britches, then I need to pray that the Lord would humble me. I want to trust in nothing more than Jesus. If I trust in anything other than Jesus, then I am committing idolatry. I am placing my faith in something that can not save me. Jesus is the only person that can bring back in communion with my Creator. He has done all the leg work. I merely need to trust in him.