Do you ever wish there were MORE commandments? Some days do you feel like the Law of God was made for you? It fits you like a glove. If so, you would get along just fine with the Rich Young Ruler in Luke 18. His story is recorded in all three gospels. He came to Jesus looking for help, not because he was doing anything wrong, but because there was something missing. He saw Jesus as an equal – someone to admire. If Jesus could just tell him the last missing piece, he would be able to punch his ticket to the pearly gates.
Jesus knew that this man didn’t get it. Jesus doesn’t want an award from us, he wants our worship. He is not a role model to follow. God didn’t become man so that man might become god. He isn’t worthy of our admiration; rather, he demands our adoration. On this Seeking Mercy Sunday we see Jesus love the Rich Young Ruler and giving him a command so great he wouldn’t be able to do it. You see the Law was never meant to be a dangerous bridge to travel for us to reach perfection. The Law crushes the sinful heart so that the Gospel might rebuild it, forgiven.
We don’t know how the story of the Rich Young Ruler ended. Did he ever return to Jesus broken and seeking mercy? We’ll find out in heaven. In the mean time guard your heart against pride. Maybe your god isn’t money? Search it to see if there is anything that reigns above god himself! Maybe it’s your job? Children or a spouse can sneak up there. Addictions and vices become precious to us slowly. The devil will not hijack your soul with alarms and sirens. He does so quietly over time. My prayer is that if you find that someone or something has taken the number one place in your life, God would crush it with the Law. May you seek mercy from your Savior who gave his life for you. You won’t be disappointed.