Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t the rich young ruler seem a bit prideful up until this point? He asked Jesus what he has to do to become His disciple. When Jesus answers him, he responds with a flippant “I already know that.” Talk about boldness! The rich young ruler probably thought he could order Jesus around like he did with many of his servants that catered to his every whim. But does Jesus respond with a “Do you know who you are talking to?” response? He models God’s mercy and grace with a compassionate, heartfelt reply.
I think Jesus still honored the fact that this young man understood who Jesus was (at least in a superficial way) and acknowledged him as Lord. Jesus still allowed him to become His disciple, if he was willing to sacrifice the one idol that stood between him and Jesus: money.
Many times throughout my years of a Christian, I’ve become frustrated with people who, in my estimation, should “get it” when it comes to discipleship. There are moments when I just want to shake certain people and ask “Why aren’t you more mature?” In my arrogance, however, I’ve missed the point that being a disciple means more than just knowing the Word of God, it’s also applying it. Extending compassion to someone who isn’t where I am at spiritually is a good place to start.
Challenge: In what ways have you failed to exemplify Christ through a lack of compassion? Is there someone God has placed in you life in which you need to extend more compassion?