Have you ever read the encounter of Jesus and the rich young man? Basically, a rich young man comes to Jesus and asks what he needs to do to have eternal life. Jesus replies with a laundry list (the Reader’s Digest version of the 10 commandments) of 6 commands that none of us do (ok, most of us don’t murder but the rest, we all do). The young man, without skipping a beat says, “Yep, got it. Been doin’ that since I was young.” Jesus then says to sell everything he has, give it to the poor and then come and walk with Him. The young man leaves, sad because he was very rich.
Now this account is chocked full of good stuff. Go, read it and glean the awesomeness. What smacked me in the head was verse 21. After the young man basically says his shit doesn’t stink and that he’s got this living for God thing under control, the scripture says:
Jesus looked at him and loved him.
I think my bible has typos.
Why was this His reaction? I’d have looked at him and raised an eyebrow or crossed my arms. Put my hand on my hip and said, “Oh, really?” I certainly would not have felt love in that moment.
Lucky for you, Jesus isn’t me.
After reading that I realized how faithful Jesus is in His character. He is always consistent in who He is but He is also always personal to the individual He’s encountering. He gives each person exactly what he or she needs for that moment.
This boy needed love and needed the bigger issue, the thing that was hindering his relationship with God, brought to light. This kid is focused on the “doing” of religion–behave, be good–and not the heart of God which is love and sacrifice. Golly, was he raised in the church?
I am so thankful that, one, God’s word is still fresh to me and surprises me. And, two, that Jesus does NOT react like I would.
Jesus, give me a heart that loves. Make me quick to listen and slow to speak. And, please, give me eyes that see like You do–and not just roll with attitude.