20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Have you ever heard someone use the phrase “all in?” Like, “I am all in on this game” or “I am going all in on exercising this year.” The idea of “all in” is that we are completely giving ourselves to something. Our minds, heart, energy, and time are going to be spend thinking about and pursuing this one thing, whatever that one thing happens to be.
But how “all in” are we really in most situations and circumstances. We say we are “all in” when it comes to exercise and healthy eating and so we put in a week at the gym and then stop. For students, you might say your going to be “all in” in your classes this semester only to be on top of your studies for a few weeks until friends want to hang out and you begin to slack.
The truth is that we keep saying things like, “we are all in” but the reality is that we’re not. In the words of Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride, “You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means” (insert Spanish accent). For most of us, we want to be all in but if we are honest we don’t want to do what it takes to really be “all in.”
This was true of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19. He felt like he was killing it for the kingdom because he was thought he was keeping all the rules. But Jesus hit him where it hurts…his pocket book. Jesus told him that in order to be perfect he needed to get rid of all his stuff and give it to the poor.
Now to clarify, Jesus wasn’t saying this because he expects everyone to sell all of their stuff.
He said this to this young ruler because he realized that he wasn’t really “all in” for Jesus. This man felt good because he was keeping all the rules, but in reality he didn’t really love or trust Jesus in a way where he was willing to give up everything for him. No, he was still trusting in his wealth, and was unwilling to give it up for Jesus. So instead of gaining an eternity with Jesus, the young ruler went away full of sorrow and sadness because his wealth was more valuable to him than a forever life with God.
So where are we today? Are we people saying that we want to be all in for Jesus? If so, are we willing to give up everything for him? Our money, time, energy, sports, technology, social media, friends, reputations, self-image, etc… Do we believe that Jesus is more trustworthy and more valuable then these things?
Sadly, I realize that not many people are at this place, and I even admit that often I am not there. But would it be our prayer today and everyday that Jesus would become infinitely more valuable to us than anything else we have or own. Because in Jesus, the Christ, Messiah, and Savior we not only find a forever and eternal home, but we also find the greatest and most everlasting treasure which is an everlasting relationship with the perfect and living God. A relationship that is so fulfilling and satisfying that Jesus says to the Samaritan women in John 4:14:
“…but whoever dinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.”
In Christ we have the fullness of life, peace, fulfillment, and joy. But we can and will only experience these realities when we are willing to stop saying “we’re all in” and we actually begin to live “all in.” Meaning, that we are putting our full hope, trust, and happiness in Jesus, and in Jesus alone, and then begin to live the rest of our lives as if that is true.
So let’s become people, myself included, that don’t just say they’re “all in”, but actually are “all in” for Jesus.