Jesus Had Impactful Conversations
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me.”—Luke 18:22
It’s been said when we open our eyes in heaven, we’re going to be so surprised. Not about who is or isn’t there, but surprised that we are! No one knows better than we do that were it not for the grace of God and the saving work of Jesus on the cross, heaven would not be in our future or eternity.
The rich young ruler wanted to make sure he was going to make it to heaven, and he came to Jesus to find out if there was something more he should be doing. Just in case he would fall short of heaven’s entrance requirements. As Jesus listed the commandments the man’s heart was encouraged. After all, as he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth (18:21).” But his elation was short-lived when Jesus added “You still lack one thing. Sell all you have and distribute to the poor.”
The rich young ruler didn’t have a hard time keeping the commandments. Obedience to God was not his challenge, but his earthly riches, his material possessions meant everything to him. He walked away from Jesus deeply saddened at the possibility of needing to give up what he treasured most in life. This conversation may help us better understand Solomon’s wisdom that says be careful what our heart becomes attached to.
Jesus spoke plainly to everyone he met, including this young man. He made every conversation count. He was equally concerned about the eternity of each person so he didn’t hide the truth nor try to soft-pedal their future reality. Beating people up with the Word was not his style. Guilting people into faith wasn’t what he did. He did not attempt to force anyone to turn to him or believe in who he was, but he did lay things out plainly so there could be no mistake. Jesus was impactful because he was genuine in his concern and respectful in his attitude.
Sometimes we are hesitant to speak plainly and truthfully with others especially those who are closest to us. Yet our concern for their spiritual wellbeing and eternity may weigh heavily upon our heart. We may find ourselves crying out to God about them in the midnight hours. Jesus spoke the truth and he always did it in a loving, respectful manner. Before we began to evangelize the world it’s good to have truthful conversations with those closest to us.
Jesus, you are the Master of impactful conversations. Teach us to engage in these kind of conversations with those closest to us and to do so in respectful and loving ways. Amen
What about the way Jesus talked with others about their eternity inspires you? On a Scale of 1-10 how good are you at holding these kinds of conversations with others?