vision check (part 1)

Have you ever had your eyes examined?  I have witnessed eye exams but  have never experienced one.  Today we can do both if we choose to apply God’s Word to our lives.

Luke 18 presents us with a contrast of two men taking a spiritual “optical exam.” Verse 18 opens with, “A certain ruler asked Him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'”  A most interesting conversation ensues.

Jesus replies, “Why do you call me good?”  The Lord’s question used to confuse me, because surely He knew that many people considered Him to be good based on the works He did.  But I now understand that the Lord  sees the man’s heart and knows that he considers Jesus to be nothing more than a “good teacher.”  Jesus states, “No one is good-except God alone.”

In essence, if the rich ruler had believed Jesus to be the Son of God, he would have addressed Him as such.  But his eyes only see before him a good man.

Jesus responds to the man’s question by listing the commandments that reference our treatment of our fellow man.  The rich ruler responds confidently that all those he has kept since he was a boy.

Now Jesus dilates the man’s eyes and looks into his inmost being-the true test of spiritual vision.  Will you keep the first commandment and have no other god before Me?  Jesus said, “You still lack one thing.  Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow Me.”

The result?  Spiritual blindness.  That commandment to place God above all other things was a “no can do” in the rich man’s book “because he was a man of great wealth.”

He left God’s presence very sad.  My heart aches knowing that his sadness was temporary, but his torment is eternal.  He chose a life separated from God all because of his love of temporary riches.  Jesus was not seeking that day to strip him of his earthly wealth.  He was only proving that to love money more than God was idolatry.  The rich ruler wanted to know how to inherit eternal life, and Jesus exposed his obstacle.

Next time, we’ll look at another patient.  His “eye exam” leads to perfect vision and a whole lot of celebrating!

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