"You Lack One Thing"

From John Piper’s What Jesus Demands from the World, page 154 (speaking of the Rich Young Ruler)…

What is this “one thing”? It sounds like three things: Sell what you possess, give it to the poor, follow me. How are these three demands really one? These demands may be summed up like this: “Your attachment to your possessions needs to be replaced by an attachment to me.” It is as though the man stood there with his hands full of money and Jesus said, “You lack one thing; reach out and take my hands.” To do this the man must open his fingers and let the money fall. The “one thing” is not what falls out of his hands, but what he takes into his hands.

I’ve always looked at this story more from the viewpoint of what the Rich Young Ruler was asked to give up. But his problem fundamentally was not what he had, but what he didn’t have.

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One Response

  1. Please forgive the length of this comment, but Piper’s remarks and yours made me recall the words to a song I posted on my blog back in November. It has long been a favorite of mine.

    Treasures
    (Martha Nicholson)

    One by one He took them from me–
    All the things I valued most,
    Until I was empty-handed–
    Every glitt’ring toy was lost.

    And I walked earth’s highway grieving
    In my rags and poverty,
    Till I heard His voice inviting,
    “Lift your empty hands to me.”

    Till I heard His voice inviting,
    “Lift your empty hands to me.”

    So I held my hands toward heaven,
    And He filled them with a store
    Of His own transcendent riches,
    Till they could contain no more.

    And at last I comprehended,
    With my stupid mind and dull,
    That God could not pour His riches
    Into hands already full.

    That God could not pour His riches
    Into hands already full.

    **********
    The ‘stuff’ of the world that we cling to is so empty and so unsatisfying. It’s like junk food with empty calories that leaves no room for nourishment that really satisfies. May I daily be more satisfied in Christ so that I quit clinging to the world’s ‘toys’, ‘treasures’, and allurements.

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