He Walked Away

A rich young man.


Living in the middle of first century Jewish-rooted, Greek influenced Israel, somewhere in a town on the road to Jerusalem.

Somehow I can see myself there, standing in the dirt, watching, there.



A rich young man.

He sees the faint silhouette of the man he’d heard all about- Jesus of Nazareth.

How long would Jesus be here? He’s on the road to Jerusalem, so he runs.

He’s getting nearer and nearer; he can now see the tangled strands of hair and the crinkles around his big, soft, brown eyes.

He falls to the feet of Jesus; his knees hit the dirt and tiny rocks lining the ground.


He looks up, locking gaze with those soft, brown eyes.

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”


He waits. He’s wondered this question and pondered for years and years and years. And now, finally, the question rolling off of his lips.

Jesus starts to talk,


“Why do you call me good? No one is good except for God alone.”



This doesn’t make sense.

He surely thought Jesus was a teacher, a good teacher.


Only God is truly good.

And Jesus knew His heart,

He regarded Him simply as a man.

As a mere human teacher.

And until this young man would recognize Him as God,

May he not call Him a good teacher.


Jesus is still speaking, his voice deep, and raspy, and concise:

“You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.”


He knew.

He knew these commandments.

He had studied them, and studied them, and memorized them from the days of his youth.


“Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”

He’s done them all.

He remembers every time he resisted the temptation to succumb to his lustful thoughts, every time he clenched his knuckles, and told the truth, every time he only took what was his, every time he responded in honor and grace to his father and mother,

He’s done them all.

“Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”


And Jesus looked at him,

And loved him.


Jesus looked at him,

And loved him.


Those soft, brown eyes, the eyes that beheld the spirit hovering over the waters before the foundation of the earth, are now squinting from the bright sun up ahead, and as they see the brown dirt and the stone buildings and cream tunics, looks at this young man,

With love.


“You lack one thing: go, and sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”


I can only imagine how his heartbeat must’ve soared at the voice at His Creator inviting him into love.

Deep, deep down, we know our Creator’s voice.

His very fingerprint is the beat of our hearts.


I can imagine this young man falling into the warm embrace of Jesus, feeling so secured by sovereign love. I can imagine him just giddy and overflowing with the joy it is to give away everything for the sake of the Kingdom. Oh, what deep and beautiful riches await him at the gates of Heaven. I can imagine him belly-laughing with Jesus in the heat of the day in the years to come- eating fish and bread together, being so absolutely breathless as he witnesses Jesus heal lepers with a touch and raise the dead with a single word. Oh, how beautiful a privilege to follow the Lord Jesus, the most exhilarating adventure, a road of tears but of deeper joy, with a soul fully alive, while walking with friends home to heaven.


But this young, rich man walked away.

He walked away, disheartened, for he had many, many great possessions.


Oh, Lord, is there anything I would withhold from you?

Is there anything I would withhold from you?


Is there anything that I hold so dearly that it would make me numb to my heart beating in giddiness and expectation as you ask me to draw near?


Oh, rich young man, do you know that those soft, brown eyes saw your unformed being before you were born, that those eyes were glorified as the foundations of the world was painted together, as the pine trees and wild flowers sprouted up, as the particles of dirt turned to atoms and cells that beautifully and fearfully composed us?

Oh, rich young man, do you know that those soft, brown eyes would soon tear up as old, rusty nails of iron were thrust through his hands of flesh upon a cross, that they would look to heavens one last time before they closed in death?

Oh, rich young man, do you know that those soft, brown eyes would burst open with power and zest as life pulsed through this rabbi’s body again? Yes, this is no mere good teacher, rich man, but it’s the Savior, who conquered death and now reigns victoriously and is redeeming all creation!


This Jewish rabbi with those soft, brown eyes on the road to Jerusalem is not just a good teacher.

Oh, rich young man, he is the King of Heaven!


If only you believed it,

If only I believed it,


I would not spare anything, but give all that I am and all that I have for His sake.


Oh rich young man,

It was never about the commandments,

Because Jesus says there’s one more thing,

And that one thing,

Isn’t one of the commandments with rules for your hands.


There was one more thing:


Give it all up.


It was never about what our hands did or didn’t do,

It was about the surrender of our hearts, our hands, our treasure, our righteousness… everything.


Because He gave it all up, for us.

Why would I withhold gold coins from a God who gave His precious blood for me?


Oh, may I give it all to Him-

And in that moment, receive Him.

My savior, my love, my king, my friend, my teacher.

The God who had a heart to save me, who I can belly laugh with, who makes miracles out of fish and bread, who is redeeming all of creation to His goodness once again.


Jesus invites you,

Beckons you,

Asks you,

To surrender it all.

Because if he would’ve followed after this rabbi who compelled him so greatly that he took off running towards Him, this young man would’ve seen that Jesus was about to pay for all of his sins with His precious blood. Our hands could never earn that from striving after the commandments, from pretending we are perfect when we know deep down, that we are far from it.


Oh, rich young man, if only when you fell to your knees in the rocks and the dirt on that road to Jerusalem,

You fell in loving and extravagant and passionate and humble surrender.

Because this man,

Who is looking at you,

Who is looking at you, and loves you,

Is not just a mere good teacher,

But He’s the King of Heaven.


Oh, Jesus, is there anything I would withhold from you?


And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”


With much, much love. And a prayer rooted in humility that I would rise from my knees in the dirt, sell all I have, and follow Him. -Melissa

Story from Mark 10:17-31


3 thoughts on “He Walked Away

  1. Wowowow I found your blog a year or so ago and it is by far my favorite blog I’ve ever found. You are so good at painting a picture of what is happening in scripture and you certainly don’t shy away from deep and challenging topics. This is random for sure but I just wanted to encourage you and let you know that I am consistently both challenged and encouraged by your posts. Keep doing your thing girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meagan,
      AWH thank you so much!!! I really love to write about the stories of Jesus, picturing myself in the midst of them, and what Jesus’ heart behind them are for the original audience, and for us now. Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement… it’s a new style of writing I’ve been practicing with, so this means alot!!! May God bless you, my sister!! Much love! ❤


  2. Wow I’ve been following your blog for about a year now and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it! I’m normally somewhat skeptical of blogs that I find circulating on the internet but yours is one that is consistently filled with truth and depth. You don’t shy away from authenticity and challenging topics and do a beautiful job of painting a picture of what is happening in scripture. I just wanted to let you know how challenged and encouraged I always am by your posts! Keep doing your thing girl!

    Liked by 1 person

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