Matthew 19:16-22 (NKJV)
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, �Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?� 17 So He said to him, �Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.� 18 He said to Him, �Which ones?� Jesus said, ��You shall not murder,� �You shall not commit adultery,� �You shall not steal,� �You shall not bear false witness,� 19 �Honor your father and your mother,� and, �You shall love your neighbor as yourself.�� 20 The young man said to Him, �All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?� 21 Jesus said to him, �If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.� 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

A rich young man, perhaps a magistrate or a ruler approached Jesus wanting to know how he could have eternal life in heaven. In calling Jesus Good Teacher or in some translations Good Master the young man was being submissive and willing to learn from Jesus. The young man was convinced that there is a happiness prepared for those in the other world, who are prepared for it in this world. It was a rare thing for one of his age and quality to care so about another world and life. The rich are apt to think it below them to make such an inquiry as this; and young people think there is plenty of time; but here was a young man, and a rich man, solicitous about his soul and eternity. In his heart he was looking for something that must be done, some good thing, some means by which he could obtain this happiness. The young man was focused on present life, so Jesus addressed present life asking him if he had followed the commandments. Then Jesus made a statement the young man could not accept. �If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.�



God�s work is living and breathing and through the Holy Spirit God will speak new meanings to us. In these verses I have usually been focused on the young man�s desire to find eternal life and the disappointment when he heard Jesus saying he had to give up all his riches. But there was something else I missed. Jesus knew the young man was seeking how he could be perfect. The problem is there are none of us who are perfect or can be perfect while we live on this earth. Perfection will always elude us. It is why we must place our trust and faith in Christ who carries us through those imperfections. It is why Christ told the young man to follow Him so the young man didn�t have the worry about being perfect.

Francesca Battistelli sings a song Free to be Me. The first part of the lyrics are as follows: At twenty years of age - I'm still looking for a dream - A war's already waged for my destiny - But You've already won the -battle - And You've got great plans for me - Though I can't always see- 'Cause I got a couple dents in my Fender - Got a couple rips in my jeans - Try to fit the pieces together - But perfection is my enemy -And on my own, I'm so clumsy - But on Your shoulders I can see - I'm free to be me.

I love those words for we are all broken and ripped apart, but Jesus has already won the battle and has great plans for us. Our problem, we are looking for perfection which we can�t obtain. When we focus on trying to be perfect we begin to give up; we begin to think things are hopeless, but in reality Jesus is carrying us through on His shoulders so that we can live the life we were meant to live.