If Jesus gave us the same command - to give everything we have to the poor - most of us would quickly come up with a long list of reasons why we shouldn’t. Not everyone is called to sell all their possessions, we would say. This man may have been told to get rid of everything he had, but his calling is not our calling. We have to provide for our families and take care of our own basic needs, not to mention give our money to support other kinds of kingdom work - not just feeding the poor.
All of these objections are reasonable enough, but the real issue for most of us is that we always want to place limits on our love. We are ready to give, but only when we have something left over. We are willing to care as long as it isn’t too inconvenient. We are able to love provided that people love us back. Really, we ought to admit that we do not love the way Jesus loved.
…Jesus is everything that I am not. He alone has ‘love divine, all loves excelling’. This realisation does not crush me; it liberates me, because the love of Jesus is so big that he loves even me. And because he loves me, he has promised to save me, to forgive me and change me.
- Phil Ryken, ‘Loving The Way Jesus Loved’, on Mark 10