Meeting vs. Encounter

This week I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the parable of the Rich Young Man in the Gospel of Luke. In the midst of this parable, a young man meets Christ for possibly the first time, and Jesus asks him to sell all He owns and follow Him. Jesus calls the young man to leave his riches, family,and home so that he can enter the kingdom of heaven. In the midst of this dialogue, I realize that the young man is willing to meet the Good teacher that Jesus is, but is afraid to encounter the heart of Christ’s divinity.

I feel as if I am a part of this story, as we all are, and that Jesus is calling me to sell all that I have and follow Him. This “sell it all” mentality does not necessarily mean give all that I own away in a physical manner, but I am starting to realize that it points to a greater reality. Jesus desires me, and each person that is willing to seek His kingdom, to let go of the things of this world.

I would love to claim that I am not attached to anything in my life, but the reality is that I attempt to find my security and peace in things other than Christ. At one point in my life, I realized that  if I said I “loved Jesus” it meant my life needed to look different than the rest of the world. In the midst of living out this idea of Christianity, I have become complacent and comfortable.

I can not speak for anyone else, but it is dangerous for me to be a comfortable Christian. When I am comfortable I forget how much I need God to care for my every need and forgive each of my sins. When I am comfortable I neglect the reality that I need Christ to be my all and all. When I am comfortable I stop seeking holiness with fervor and zeal.

I have been reminded over the past few days that Christ is calling me out of my comfort zone again. He is calling me to be radical. He is calling me to love and be-loved by Him. He is calling me to live in such a way that I am not just following the commandments. He is calling me to live out my call to be missionary with love and zeal. The rich young man understands the minimum, and asks God what else he must do to enter the kingdom. Christ calls the young man, as He calls each of us, to encounter His heart and from there we must allow ourselves to be radically changed!

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