One Thing You Lack – Mark 10:17-31

Do you know that Jesus looks at you and loves you? In Mark 10 we read of a man that Jesus looked at and loved, but He told him, “One thing you lack…” (v. 21). Notice that He didn’t say eight things, or ten things, but one thing. What is the one thing hindering you from being fully devoted to Jesus? What holds you back from being all God wants you to be and receiving all that God has to offer you? In this story, the man lacked an understanding of salvation.

It is Easy
“As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’” (v. 17). We know from Mark 10 that this man was rich. In Matthew 19 we learn that he was young, and in Luke 18, we learn that he was a ruler. He had great position, possessions, and had achieved so much. The man did so many things right. He came the right way, with urgency and humility. He came to the right person, Jesus. He asked the right question, how to be saved. But, notice that he asked, “What must I do?” Human nature is such that we think we have to do something. Doing something makes us feel good. All other world religions are spelled D-O. Christianity, however, is spelled D-O-N-E. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” Eternal life is not achieved, it is received as a gift (Eph. 2:8-9). The man thought that he was doing good because he had kept the commandments (v. 19-20). Religion loves rules and checklists. Eternal life is not about a list of rules though, it is about a relationship. Jesus summed up all the commandments with, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” We are all sinners who cannot save ourselves. No one has ever lived a perfect life but Jesus. Jesus alone is good and He alone is God. Salvation is easy because Jesus did it all. All we have to do is trust Him.

It is Hard
“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (v. 21-22). This man’s money was his idol. His priorities were the problem, not his possessions. God does not speak against people having money but warns against money having us! Money is a great servant but a poor master. Greed held this man back. What’s the one thing that holds you back? Salvation is impossible with man, but it is possible with God (v. 27).

It is Worth It
“Then Peter spoke up, ‘We have left everything to follow you!’ ‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age…” (v. 28-30). Following Jesus, living for Jesus, will cost you, but it will be worth it! The gains outweigh the losses.

Have you heard the story of the very large man that was drowning? He was panicking, swinging his arms, trying to save himself. The lifeguard stayed about 3 feet away until the man’s energy and efforts were all gone. Then, he saved the man’s life. Bystanders asked why the lifeguard waited and he said, “As long as he was trying to save himself there was nothing I could do for him.” It is the same way spiritually. Salvation is not about what you or I can do for God. It is about what God has done for you and me. Jesus loved this man and He loves you. We love Him only because He first loved us. Salvation is all of God. Jesus does not tell everyone to sell everything and give it all away, but we must forsake any idol in our lives and put our faith in God. Stop trusting in your own efforts to earn salvation and come to God through faith alone in Christ alone.

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