Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 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.” Mark 10:20-21
Lot’s of us see this passage only as a sad reminder of the power of riches over faith in the life of this rich man. But the word also tells us that when Jesus looked at this man – He loved him. Jesus saw a young man who had chosen not to follow his friends in lying or cheating or to follow the example of adults who worshiped other gods.Jesus saw in this young man a faith that caused Him to pause. This first half of the story carries with it an important message – It is never too soon to follow Jesus. We do not need to wait till we grow up, hold an advanced degree in Yada-yada-yada or impress the civic leaders of our community. There is no moment more crucial to our journey of faith than youth. Just as Jesus was angry with His disciples when they tried to hinder children from coming to him so He loved the heart of this young man who firmly stood up for the things that He believed in.
Sadly, many of us give lip service to our youth when we say – “These are the church of tomorrow” But in the eyes of Jesus our youth are the church right now. Right now they have the greatest and most crucial decisions to make. Right now their testimony can make the most powerful impact on the world around them. Right now if we will look at them with the eyes of Jesus Christ and
love them, we must give them the same opportunity that Jesus gave to this man. Right now it’s time to trust God to call our youth to take up the cross…and our job to equip, pray for and support them as they sell out for Jesus Christ! Maybe this young man in the gospel of Mark was a future Paul. It could be that hard circumstances later on caused Him to return to the faith and calling of his youth. We will never know that till we get to heaven. But the call to the youth of our generation is not annulled by the failure of one young man who chose to turn away. Remember that for every one who sadly walks away from God there are eleven more willing to say “Yes!” to His call. It is never too soon to leave everything for Jesus and yet it is also never too late to take up our cross and follow Him!