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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 154 - One Thing

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Mark 10:21,22

Most people walk around life, looking for something, searching for something that will make all the difference in the world. They think there is just one thing that will clarify their life, giving them meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

In the movie, “City Slickers” Jack Palance tells Billy Crystal that there is just “one thing” in life.[1] Billy Crystal then asks what’s the one thing, Jack Palance says that he has to figure out what his one thing is.

There are lots of people out there with all sorts of programs, checklists, diets, techniques, positions. All sorts of things that people push as the “one thing” that people need to solve their problems, fill their hearts and lives. They offer simple solutions to the very complex and involved issues of life.

As Jesus sees and hears what this guy says, his perception changes and sees the seeds of potential. Jesus comes to love this guy, with a love that sees how special and precious he is. Jesus sees lots of value in him. Not just value in who he might become, but value in who he is right now. The love Jesus has is not based on actions or performance, but the condition of this guy’s heart.

After all, the guy admits that he is in need, that he doesn’t have all the answers. That’s what motivated him to seek out Jesus, to screw up his courage, get close and talk with him.

The answer to the guy’s question, according to Jesus is “one thing.” He’s got everything else in place, all his bases are covered. Just like Billy Crystal, there is just this “one thing” that’s missing. But it’s a biggie.

To demonstrate his focus, dedication, and desire to take the next step, Jesus touches a nerve, the biggest nerve in this guy’s life. His possessions. His wealth. The thing that he sees as defining him.

Jesus’ request is less about testing this guy’s willingness to obey as it is to release him from the weight that’s holding this guy back. Jesus didn’t tell him just to walk away from his stuff, but to give it away so there was no turning back. He wasn’t to put it into a trust that he could return to. This is a once and for all decision. A real fork in the road.

The possessions themselves were not the problem, but his dependence on them was. He thought of himself as a nobody without those things.

And once he lets go of the anchor that was holding him back, that would make space in his heart to follow Jesus. It would free him to leave the limited world that was keeping him locked into his present. It would release him to embark on the true journey of a lifetime – following Jesus.

The offer wasn’t complicated. It was not convoluted. It did not require a colossal effort. But it was challenging. It did require making a decision that would impact the rest of his life. Once made, there was no turning back. Once given away, there was no getting it back.

And the reaction is so tragic, so sad. There he was, right there with Jesus, with an open, personal invitation to be with him. But the heavy, dark clouds of wealth overshadowed the daylight offered by Jesus. He chooses sadness that you can almost touch. Heavy, depressing to the point of sucking all the hope out of life.

We’re made the same offer. Jesus looks on us with love, wanting nothing but the best for us. When he looks at us, it’s not about what he can take from us, but what he can do in and for us. And from that newness of life, Jesus opens his arms to receive us.

But we have to give up whatever is holding us back. While it may be things for some of us, there is a bigger thing holding us back.

Our righteousness, how good we see ourselves. It’s time to let go of our own goodness, that’s like dirty, filthy rags, and take up Jesus and the goodness he gives.

We can only hold onto one thing at a time. So, let go of whatever is holding you back from a loving relationship with the only one that will never disappoint of abandon you. And grab onto Jesus, the one who made you. The only one that can complete you. Fulfill your life, both today and for all time.


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