Read: Matthew 19:16-22
If thou will be perfect, go and sell that thou hast… and come and follow me (Matthew 19:21).
If Thou Wilt Be Perfect
This rich young ruler who came to Jesus wanted true spiritual life. He was already doing all that he knew to please God: he kept the commandments and thus did not commit acts of sin; he had faith enough in Jesus to come to Him for some deeper experience with God. Our Lord did not question the young man’s testimony but pointed out to him God’s plan for full sovereignty of the soul. “If thou will be perfect, go and sell that thou hast.., and come and follow me.”
Jesus had previously asked Peter and John to give up their fishing boats; He now asked this young man to give up his farms. Peter could testify for the disciples, “We have left all, and have followed thee” (Mark 10:28). The Master was thus getting these disciples ready for Pentecost and He offered the same opportunity to the rich young ruler. Had this young man accepted the conditions, there could have been 121 filled with the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room.
But when the young man heard the conditions “he went away sorrowful.” He was interested but he was not willing to sell all. He wanted the prize but was unwilling to pay the price, His desire for God was not deep enough to carry him past hindering circumstances. He was not ready to make God’s will his own will.
The blessing comes when we go one step further than the rich young ruler went. The blessing comes when we surrender all in order to follow Christ.
My life, my love, I give to Thee,
Thou Lamb of God, who died for me; Oh, may I ever faithful be, My Saviour and my God!
— R. E. Hudson