Dr. Jeanette Parker
Dr. Jeanette Parker (File Photo)

Jesus is always on the move. He moves through His divine timeline with the goal of offering Himself up as the final sacrifice by hanging on the cross for the offer of salvation to eternal life to all who will accept His proposal, presentation, and announcement of the “good news.”  

He is presented with questions on different subject matters (Matthew 19).  Some question Him to try and entrap Him and to see if He will go against the law of Moses. There is one young man who is very rich. He is a businessman and has attained his riches at a young age. He is also of high standing in the community.  

(Riches, power, fame, public recognition carries a downside too. Not everything is as stress free and glorious as it may appear. There are contending challenges. In our age, there are responsibilities, such as dealing with the everyday situations at hand: employees, checking the financials, balancing the income to exceed the expenses, paying taxes and all at the cost of having earnings for profits to support your own lifestyle and family expenses.  

(Such is the nature of business, along with working long hours to accomplish these goals. And you can’t run a business without personal participation and expect someone else will run it the same way with the same principle as you have. Wise decision-making is key. You’re also boxing, blocking and stopping temptations all along the way.}  

This young man of “economic success” in Matthew 19 seems to be proud of his business dealings in all the ways just mentioned. He meets Jesus, who going about teaching and healing.  

Jesus withdrew from Galilee (about 28 A.D.) and came into the coasts (borders) of Judea beyond Jordan (Perea, east side of Jordan, from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Great multitudes followed Him to hear him for He spoke with divine authority, and they were expecting healing of whatever infirmities they brought to Him. Their expectations were met. He healed them there. Their faith in Him, His name healed them.  

The Pharisees questioned Jesus seeking to entrap Him. The rich young ruler seems to be sincere in his questions to Jesus. Having accomplished a healthy business, he now seems to think there is something more.  

His approach is most respectful. He kneels, calls Him “good teacher,” and asks, “What do I still lack?” He asks the most important question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He knows his previous deeds have not given him eternal life. He is honestly searching.  

Jesus responds in Matthew 19:17-20 “And He said to him, ‘Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ 18Then he said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 20The young man said to Him, ‘All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?21Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions (belongings) and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’  

Those were mighty powerful, thought-provoking words. Perhaps, we have pondered these words ourselves. One sin can lead us away from following Jesus. The young rich businessman must have hung his head in despair now knowing he had missed the mark. He was looking for the “true riches.” He had evaluated riches as the key to “success.” He thought the “big time” was defined by works.  

The challenge is in our thought processes. Don’t worship material things. Don’t put anything in front of worshipping Jesus. Everything else takes second behind and Jesus first. We must give our hearts to Jesus. Treat people right. Be respectful. Give to the poor from your heart.  

It is more than just writing a check. We give from our heart. We are dedicated and committed. Success is not how much money we have or the clothes we wear or the kind of car we drive.  

Please understand, I am not trying to put these things down, but it’s the state of our heart and our goal and our calling. We listen for and to the voice of the Holy Spirit for directions and guidance.  

Thanks for reading! Jeanette Grattan Parker is founder-superintendent of Today’s Fresh Start Charter School, 4514 Crenshaw Boulevard, L.A. 90043, 323-293-9826, www.todaysfreshstart.org (Ask Dr. Jeanette TM) Inquiring Minds Want to Know” All articles are copyright. All rights reserved © Errors? Let me know. Join Sundays for music & message: 11:30am {1-712-775-8971—code 266751} Keep praying and keep hoping.