Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor…
I. That no outward respect, however exact, or however long, to God's law, can give us a title to eternal life.
1. It is not enough that there should be wishes after heaven: and even a willingness to do many things, so that we may obtain the crown and the glory which are there laid up.
2. It is not enough either that our hearts should be tender, and our temper amiable. For after all, delightful as is this frame of mind to those among whom we live, and on whom it sends forth a perpetual sunshine, it is the gift of God to us. It is not our own, but His, and, in many cases, we can no more help this sweetness of disposition, than the flowers of the field can help being fragrant and beautiful. It is their nature to be sweet, and ours, perhaps, to be amiable. But is it any excuse for not loving God, that we love everything and everybody else?
3. It is a mere wilful murdering of our own souls, to whisper to ourselves that the greatness of a sacrifice will plead before God in excuse for our not making it. Had the young man in the text prayed to God to help him in his strait, to conquer his carnal weakness, to support his fainting courage, and to gird up his soul with a triumphant faith, he would have prevailed; and so shall we. Faith, faith, faith — here is the want!
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."