You don’t have to prove anything

Just because Jesus asks one guy to do something specific it doesn’t mean he’s asking everybody to do that same specific thing. In context, the guy had just listed all the things he did right in order to prove that he was a worthy of consideration as a disciple. Jesus had just got through telling this same guy that nobody is good only God is good. When the guy pressed, Jesus told him to sell all his stuff. The point was that discipleship isn’t something you apply for and earn and do.

This conversation really wasn’t about laws. It was about understanding that we do not manufacture goodness through our behavior. Rather we are good because God is good and respond with good from the attitude and perspective that our identity is in Him. This means letting go of the things we do to prove our goodness to ourselves and to others.

It doesn’t say that the young man went away deeply offended or alienated either, just sad. Jesus didn’t shut the door on the guy because he wasn’t ready to accept what He said. I like to think what Jesus said to this young man sunk in later.

Lord, help me to bask in Your goodness and invite others into Your goodness.