He stared at me with sorrow in his eyes, a look of deep loss. “What is on your mind?” I asked him.
He looked at me with sad eyes. His face bore the scars of much mourning. “I have been searching for the right answer ever since my father died.”
I looked back at him, puzzled, “Searching? For what?”
He sat a moment, silent, then looked up at the clear blue sky above. He shook his head, sighed and looked at me. “My father was a good man. He followed all of the Lord God’s commandments. He was honest in his business dealings, faithful to my mother, truthful in every word. He truly loved his neighbor as himself.”
“I knew your father,” I said. “ This is true. He was respected in our community and richly rewarded for that with great wealth.”
He gazed at me, thinking about my statement. “Yet he was not happy.”
I stared at him. “How could he not be happy?”
“That’s just it. The day my father died, he repeatedly said to me. ‘I missed it! I missed my opportunity.’ When I pressed him about it, he just told me, ‘Don’t you miss it too!’”
The man paused and looked up at the sky.
“What did he miss?”
The man looked at me again. “He finally told me about an encounter he had with a man named Jesus — how Jesus told him, ‘If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’”
“I’ve heard about this Jesus. The Romans crucified him years ago. People still talk about him today.”
He smiled at me. Some say he’s the Messiah — that he rose from the dead.”
I chuckled. “It’s all talk.”
The man shook his head. “No. If you had seen the look on my father’s face, you wouldn’t think that. His whole life he strived to find true life and never found it. In the end he told me he missed the opportunity to follow Jesus — that Jesus personally invited him to give up everything to follow him and he walked away from it. The way he looked at me; the sincerity in his voice; it was as if Jesus himself was inviting me to follow him.”
I looked at him as tears streamed down his cheeks. I was lost for words.
“I inherited my dad’s wealth and now I feel I am faced with the same choice.”
I looked at him with surprise. “You’re not thinking about…”
“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and realize I missed it,” he said.
#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of the son of the Rich Young Ruler following his father’s death based on Matthew 19:16-26
© 2022, CGThelen
When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:25-26 (NASB)