Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Jesus asks what He does of the rich young ruler because He loved him. It is not supposed to be a punishment or an unreasonable demand He makes to hurt him somehow. It’s not about destroying his life. Jesus asks this man to sell his riches and follow Him because it is what would be best for him. It would bring goodness and blessing into his life. It would be a way to honor God. And he can accept or refuse the opportunity that Jesus presents to him.
Every time Jesus looks at someone, first He loves. He knows everything in our hearts. He knows every detail of our lives. He knows where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. But He leads with love. And so even though it may seem like what Jesus says to this young man is too much to ask, Jesus knows it will set him free and lead him in a much better direction.
Jesus didn’t want the man’s money or his self-righteousness, but He wanted his heart. He wanted to walk along with him through his journey. He wanted to show him a different kind of treasure. And He wants to do the same thing in our lives. Sometimes He comes to us with a proposition that seems like something we would never be able to do. It may be something that challenges something that is valuable to us. It may seem like such a huge thing that He asks of us. But what He wants is our heart. He wants to be our Savior. And He wants us to walk near to Him for our journey.
Surely it broke Jesus’ heart to watch that man walk away, knowing that his heart was full of love for those riches and absent of true love for God. Jesus loves us with a powerful, unconditional love. He looks upon us with compassion whether we are an eager-to-please rich man or a poor, desperate beggar. He offers us a treasure that no one can take away from us. He invites us to go with Him for a walk down a different path that may include sacrifice but also leads to the best possible life that He has planned just for us—if we are willing to trust Him and let go of everything that is holding us back.