Just then someone came up and asked Him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” Matthew 19:16 HCSB
In this scripture, a rich, young man comes to Jesus asking Him what must be done to obtain eternal life. The young man called Jesus “Teacher” or “Good Teacher,” indicating that he didn’t think of Jesus as Messiah or the Christ. Jesus was just someone who could provide him with the rules and answers he needed about getting the eternal life he had heard so much about.
Praying over this passage before I taught it, I realized that in some ways I am like this rich, young ruler. No, I’m not rich. Neither am I young. But many times, I plead to Jesus to teach me His Word.
“Teach me Your will and Your ways, Jesus. Show me, Lord, so that I understand! I want to teach Your word properly. And, Lord, if You could quickly show me, I would appreciate it! I don’t have a lot of time between now and the class on Sunday.”
The way Jesus answered the rich, young ruler stopped the man in his tracks. He told the man to keep the commandments and sell all his possessions. Then He gives the young man the answer that stopped me in my tracks:
“Then come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21 NLT
One commentary explained that the calling to follow Jesus involves abiding fellowship with Him. In other words, long-lasting companionship.
I was crying out “Jesus, show me – hurry!”
He had been whispering “Ellen, know Me!”
￼Jesus can show me and teach me everything in His word, and I can have all the knowledge in the world, but until I sit at His feet and spend time in fellowship with Him, I won’t KNOW Him.
In my quest to teach His word accurately and with truth, I had lost sight of what is really important – spending time with Him. Getting to know Him, not just the teaching points of His word. I began to read my Bible with different eyes. I began to see it once again as God’s love letter to me, wooing me to Him, not as my handbook for what to teach.
The whole reason God sent Jesus to earth to die for us, was so He could have a relationship with us. It amazes me that He WANTS to spend time with me. He listens to me (All. The. Time.), and in response I must remember to listen to Him, also. To learn who He is and know His heart.
And this is His heart:
“Looking at him (the rich young man), Jesus felt a love for him…” Mark 10:21a
Jesus loved this young man, who would reject Him. How much more does He love those of us who call Him Lord and Savior?
Who is Jesus to you? Savior, Redeemer, Provider, Friend. Yes, even Teacher…
Spend some time with Him today. Get to know Him. Let it soak in to your heart just how much He loves you.
Grace be with you,