Not everybody got it. The next morning, the rest of the group gathered together at Lazarus’ before heading out. Martha outdid herself again with breakfast, and when we were done we tried to help, but Martha wouldn’t let us. She said that it would take a week to figure out where we put everything when we helped clean up the night before.
We were on the road before the sun started getting hot and hadn’t gotten very far when a man ran up and knelt down before Jesus. It was the same old question, “What do I have to do to live forever?”
Nobody was asking, “How can I be a better person?” or “How can I make this life better for others?” No, it was always the same old question, “How can I live forever?”
And Jesus’ reply always came back around to how they could be a better person and how they could make this life better for others. But people didn’t seem to get it.
You could tell the entire kneeling before him made Jesus uncomfortable. He said there would come a time for that, but it wasn’t now. Reaching out his hand, he helped the young man to his feet. “You know what the law says, don’t kill anyone, be faithful to your wife, don’t take what doesn’t belong to you, tell the truth and honor your parents.”
“Teacher,” the young man replied, “I was taught those things in Cheder and I’ve always been faithful to the commandments. There must be more.”
“Oh yes, there is more. You’re a good man. You’ve never been angry enough to even consider murder, you are not married, so it’s easy to not cheat on your non-existent wife, you love your parents and you have so much that you don’t have to think about taking what isn’t yours. The commandments have been easy for you because they haven’t cost you anything . . . yet.
“There is one more thing I want you to do. I want you to sell everything you have and give it away to those who have so much less than you. Then, I want you to follow me.
”You would have thought Jesus had slapped the man, he was stunned and just stood there.
“I beg your pardon?”
“You heard me, you’ve done what is easy for you, but God doesn’t call us to do what is easy.”
“But I can’t do that. I can’t give it all away.”
“You most certainly can Saul, all you have to do is open your hands, it’s just that easy.”
“No Saul, it’s not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t. And there is a world of difference between the two. You may not believe that now, but there will come a day that you’ll understand.” “You can call it what you will, but what you’re asking is too much.” And with that he turned and walked away.