Ellen G. White Writings

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A Call to Stand Apart, Page 27

He’d convinced himself that he had “made it” in both the workplace and in his spiritual life. Yet, for all that, he sensed something was missing. He had seen the way Jesus blessed children and wanted Jesus to bless him, too.

In reply to his question, Jesus told him to keep the commandments and quoted a few of them that deal with our interpersonal relationships. The young ruler replied with certainty that he’d done it all since his youth. Then he added the poignant question “What is missing?” As Jesus looked in the young man’s face, He searched his life and character. He loved the youth kneeling at His feet and wanted to give him the peace he desired. So He replied, “One thing is missing. Sell all your possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. That will give you a bank account in heaven. Then pick up the cross and follow Me.”30The Desire of Ages, 518, 519.

Jesus sincerely wanted this young man as one of His disciples. He knew the youth could be a tremendous influence for good. He had many fine qualifications and talents. Jesus wanted to give him the opportunity to develop a character that would reflect the likeness of God.

If the ruler had joined Jesus, he would have been a great power for good. If he’d made the choice to be a disciple, how different his life would have been.31Ibid., 519.

His life could have become all he wanted it to be. But one thing was missing, just one! To sell and distribute his great wealth and join Jesus would have corrected that one weakness. That action would have emptied self-interest from his life and filled it instead with the love of God. Jesus asked him to make a choice between worldly wealth and heavenly worth.

To join Jesus meant that this young man had to accept a life of self-denial. With deep interest Jesus watched him weigh the question. With keen insight the ruler understood what he’d been told, but it made him depressed. If he had sensed what he would gain in the gift Jesus offered, he would

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