You could call this story an epic “Opportunity Lost.”
You talk about a guy presented with a once-in-a-lifetime golden opportunity, an opportunity that he squandered. An opportunity that he squandered Badly.And.Sadly.
As you will hear in this PODCAST, this is an offer rarely made, and shockingly dismissed.
A young man who burst on the scene like a blazing comet streaking overhead, only to flame out and fall out of the sky to come crashing and burning to earth.
What a story!
One thing’s for sure. Jesus never took a class on Personal Evangelism, witnessing, soul winning, or whatever you want to call it. Because, to be honest, Jesus Broke.Every.Rule of personal evangelism in this very personal encounter.
Here you have what we call in our contemporary Christian culture a seeker coming to Jesus to ask Him one question. THE question. The single most important question.
A softball question that any one of us could answer.
“What should I do to inherit eternal life?”
This young man asked Jesus exactly the right question, to which Jesus gave him exactly the wrong answer!
Or did He?
Don’t fault me for asking that. Jesus’ own disciples thought that Jesus gave him the wrong answer. Check it out: The disciples were “astounded and astonished” when they heard Jesus’ answer.
All this guy needed to do, all that Jesus needed to tell him to do, was to pray a “Jesus, come into my heart” prayer, right? Yet, by the time Jesus got done with him? The young man walked away.
In the words of the noted Lutheran New Testament scholar, R.C.H. Lenski,
“Picture him: an exemplary young man in early manhood, fine and clean morally as the phrase now goes… wealthy… with a strong religious bent… a pillar (in the community)… Where is the church that would not give him a prominent place?… Yet all this is in the eyes of Jesus… worthless.”
Yeah verily, I will add, so worthless that Jesus offended him. Lost him. Drove him away.
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God bless you richly as you listen.