One Thing You Lack

Advent 2017

December 23, 2017

Read Mark 10: 1-31

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go and sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (v. 21).

The entire world was sleeping at the first Advent when the Lord Jesus was born in a stable, in ancient Bethlehem and laid in manger so many years ago. Will the world be just as asleep at the second Advent as it was at the first? Equally oblivious, as it was before, to the coming of the Lord of Glory?

Jesus told the rich young man that there was only one thing that separated him from eternal life, “One thing you lack”. One thing stood between him and heaven, one thing was lacking, seriously lacking in the life of a young man who was obedient to the Law. The rich young man was so close to the kingdom of heaven, and yet so far away from it. “Close” and “Almost” will not suffice in God’s economy. You either have it or you don’t. One thing was “needful” and he lacked it. Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha found the “one thing needful” for the Lord Jesus said of her, “Martha, Martha, you are troubled about many things, but only one thing is needful. And Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

We read in the thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew of the man who found a treasure in a field and then sold all that he had to purchase the field and of a merchant who, finding a pearl of the greatest value, sold all that he had to purchase it. Two similar stories of men, who having found the greatest treasures, their “one thing needful”, gave up all that they had to acquire it. While, the rich young man was unwilling to part with his worldly possessions to acquire an eternal treasure.

In the parable of the Ten Virgins (Ref: Matt. 25:1-13), we read of the five wise virgins who had sufficient oil for their lamps and where ready when the bride groom appeared. The five foolish virgins were unprepared and were not ready when the bride groom finally arrived at the late and unexpected hour. They needed oil for their lamps and went off to buy from the merchants. But when they returned the wedding banquet had already begun and the doors were shut to those on the outside. Those five foolish virgins lacked “the one thing needful” and when the bride groom finally arrived and the door was shut, it was too late to acquire what they lacked to gain entrance.


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