Matthew 19:16-22 (The Message)
16 Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" 17 Jesus said, "Why do you question me about what's good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you." 18 -19 The man asked, "What in particular?" Jesus said, "Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself." 20 The young man said, "I've done all that. What's left?" 21 "If you want to give it all you've got," Jesus replied, "go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me." 22 That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crest-fallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn't bear to let go.
In these verses the young man used the Greek word didaskale agathe to address Jesus. It is a very honorable title meaning – Good Master. It shows respect and it is an acknowledgement of Christ’s wisdom. Even though he was young; he was concerned about his eternal life. Jesus tries to direct him in understanding there is no one who matches up to the goodness of God. Jesus gave the young man commandments he was familiar with. But one must keep all of God’s commandments if one is to live by the law and not faith in Christ. The young man looked to Christ to question what law he needed to fulfill. The answer Christ gave him disheartened him for he was told to give up everything and follow Jesus. The young man’s heart needed to be set on heavenly treasures and not the treasures of this world. He needed to be devoted to God; following Christ fully. Just giving up possessions was no enough for he needed to follow Christ and place his faith in Him.
The word self centered means to be concerned solely with one’s own desires, needs or interests. Sometimes our desires get in the way of how we should live our life. We place ourselves first instead of making an investment in God’s kingdom. When things get tough we want to give up because it means we might lose those things we desire. Yesterday the stock market plunged and many saw their investments falling away. Look at some of the words used to describe reasons for the fall of our economy: greed, need for moderation, need for integrity and need for trust, theft, and selfishness. Christ said a wise man should build his house upon a rock where it can withstand floods and great wind. For those who have invested in Christ they see a future kingdom where their treasures are stored. Store up your treasures in heaven for you will not be disappointed.