As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.”’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Reflection by Janet Derby
This is a familiar story, that can make us uncomfortable. On reading it this week, I was interested in the verse that says “Jesus, looking at him, loved him”. Did Jesus not love him before looking at him? Of course, I believe he did. So why make this point? I think that when Jesus looked at him, he could see that the man was struggling. He clearly wanted to do what was right, but Jesus seemed to know that his riches were getting in the way of the man’s relationship with God. It made me wonder what Jesus sees when he looks at me. What gets in the way of my relationship with God and what do I need to do to gain treasure in heaven?
Searching God, help me to know what in my life keeps me from experiencing your love. Thank you for loving me in spite of my failings. Amen.