Mark 10:17-25 “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Text Mark 10:21 “One thing thou lackest”
As Jesus turned to walk away a young man ran up and bowed. Before Jesus was able to acknowledge him the young man asked a question, “what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (vs.17). On the surface the question appears to be a good one until it is viewed in its context. The young man did not ask the question for information but conformation! Having a total understanding of everything about us, even our thoughts, Jesus said, “Thou knowest the commandments” (vs.19). Jesus knew that this young man had already come to a conclusion about the means of obtaining salvation. The young man had the idea that he had already done enough to merit salvation. Therefore, all he wanted Jesus to do was confirm his good works; “Master, all these have I observed from my youth” (vs20). He wanted Jesus to pat him on the back and tell him what a good person he was and tell him that if anyone made it to heaven, he would! The young man had come for the conformation of salvation and was confronted with the conviction of salvation; “One thing thou lackest” (vs.21). The word “lackest” means to fall or come short. It would not be his habits, but his heart that would keep this young man out of heaven. Religion may change a person’s habits, but the Redeemer is out to capture a person’s heart! Paul said in Romans 10:9-10, “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart . . . For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” The difference between the religious sinner and the righteous saint is the condition of one’s heart!