“The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws. 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…..” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven……! Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible……” And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:20-21, 23, 26, 29 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/mat.19.21-29.NET
Like most of us, the rich man was a good person, doing everything God commanded in His law. In his heart, this man knew there was more to God than just obeying some commands. If God is great, we should greatly give ourselves to Him. God invites him to perfection. It seems like an invitation and not a command. Yet God continues that rich people, good people, will have the hardest time entering the kingdom of God because they are relying upon their goodness rather than giving themselves entirely to God’s greatness. Choosing goodness rather than perfection, giving it all for the glory of God, is to choose to miss the kingdom of God. Leaving everything for God’s kingdom isn’t a physical removal but an emotional and spiritual removal from all that defines us and satisfies us; that isn’t God Himself and His glory on the earth. As Jesus gave everything to become our Savior, the person who would be Jesus’ disciple must give everything. God can do no less for us than give His all, and we can do no less for God than give our all. This surrender of all our loves, loyalties, and desires is a gift of the Holy Spirit that comes from being born again and is not obtained through simply being good by not disobeying God’s laws.