All These - by Greg Steggerda

It used to be axiomatic in law enforcement circles that most crimes boil down to one of two motives: sex or money. Add pursuit of power and I wonder if you have the triumvirate of temptation. And I wonder if money isn’t the biggest for Americans.

I’m musing about money because I read this morning in Luke 18 about the rich young man who wanted to know what to do to be saved. The conversation played out this way, in verses 19-23:
“‘You know the commandments: “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.”’
“‘All these I have kept since I was a boy,’ he said.
“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.
’“When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.”

That’s a good description of a lot of Christians: wouldn’t think of adultery, certainly not murder or theft, no lying to get other people in trouble, honor mom and dad. And really sad about giving up their wealth.

Oh, we’re willing to give our money. In fact, those Christians I know who are good earners are really good givers; the ones who debate the tithe are usually people who don’t have much. But Jesus doesn’t tell this man to give some. He says give it all.

Would we be able to do that? Jesus forces us to ask, if the choice was really to impoverish ourselves to be obedient to him, or hang on to our wealth and just depend on his forgiveness, which would we do? Do we love Jesus enough to give up our wealth?

For most of us, this is an interesting academic exercise; Jesus won’t ever come to us and ask for anything this extreme.

Or will he? Hasn’t he already?