What is Lacking?

A man came to Jesus and asked him a question.  If you harmonize the story, he is a rich, young ruler.  He asked Jesus a straightforward question.  What must I do to inherit eternal life?  Jesus seemingly brushed him off with, “You know the commandments.” He says, “I have kept those since I was a boy.” It can sound arrogant, but it is more a statement about his lifelong quest for righteousness. 

Jesus then says, “One thing you lack …” (Mark 10:21).  The rest of his sentence is about him selling his possessions and giving them to the poor.  Before we rush into explaining what Jesus is saying and what he means, I want to focus on the first statement. 

This guy looked like he had it all together. He was living a righteous life.  Keeping the ten commandments throughout your life is no small feat – no lying, no stealing, and never using the Lord’s name in vain.  He sounds like a good guy.  And then you see that he has wealth and power on top of that.  From all external measures, he was being blessed by God for living a Godly life. 

Jesus says, “One thing you lack.”

If we seriously follow Jesus, then a valid statement is, “Jesus show me what I lack.”

Genuine spiritual growth is achieved when we are willing to ask ourselves and possibly others, “What is the one thing that is lacking in my faith?”

Jesus is honest and tells this guy what he needs to do, and all the accounts say he went away sad.  Tough questions have demanding answers.  The way forward into the life Christ desires from us is by asking these questions and living with the answers and not avoiding them. 

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