“When Jesus heard this, He said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.” (Luke 18:22-23)
Following Jesus often comes with a cost. For some, confessing their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God leads to them being rejected by their relatives. For others, it might ruin their career. For the man in Luke 18, it required renouncing his wealth. That was too much for him, “for he was extremely rich”, Luke tells us. He wanted to follow Jesus, but not at all costs.
Jesus warns his disciples that it is difficult for wealthy people to enter God’s Kingdom, since they tend to love their money more than anything else. You have to choose what is most important to you: your material riches or the spiritual riches that God offers you. For “no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
Jesus exhorts people to think through the costs of discipleship beforehand. Following Jesus is not easy. But the Bible clearly shows that it’s worth it! God will give his children “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 14:17).
Is there something that holds you back from following Jesus?