Nothing in my hands I bring - Hope 103.2

Nothing in my hands I bring

By David ReayTuesday 10 Jun 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Luke 18:18-23

18 One day one of the local officials asked him,”Good Teacher,what must I do to deserve eternal life?”

19-20 Jesus said,”Why are you calling me good? No one is good-only God. You know the commandments,don’t you? No illicit sex,no killing,no stealing,no lying,honor your father and mother.”

21 He said,”I’ve kept them all for as long as I can remember.”

22 When Jesus heard that,he said,”Then there’s only one thing left to do: Sell everything you own and give it away to the poor. You will have riches in heaven. Then come,follow me.”

23 This was the last thing the official expected to hear. He was very rich and became terribly sad. He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let them go. (THE MESSAGE)

A very fine Christian retreat leader,Ruth Haley Barton,once said: “I try to run into God’s arms and give myself to his embrace,but I am holding on to lots of stuff and it gets in the way.”

A bit like this religious leader in our passage today. We may assume he genuinely wanted right relationship with God,though his perspective seems focussed on good works rather than faith. Jesus as always meets him on his own terms. He more or less invites the man to do one more good work,which is to give away his wealth. This would not only be a good work but an expression of faith. In effect,this inquirer can’t even jump that hurdle let alone grapple with grace and faith.

In answering him thus,Jesus shows him what was keeping him from truly following him and receiving eternal life. He wanted God,but wanted his possessions a whole lot more. Whether we are rich or poor,we can cling to things that prevent us clinging to God. We can’t exercise radical faith in God if we insist on hanging on to other things that offer us security.

Imagine someone coming to you to embrace you. If you have your arms full of things you cannot enter the embrace. Drop those things,accept the embrace,and perhaps you can pick them up again. Or maybe that embrace means you don’t need those things any more.

David Reay