Whatever happened to Jesus's evangelism program? Talking about His own death had already lost Him plenty of followers. But the rich young man in today's text seemed like a perfect candidate for membership in any church: plenty of fiscal resources, eager devotion to God's commands, and good societal standing. He sought the Law, something he could keep more than others could. He was completely sincere in this - on his own terms - but completely misguided.
Jesus needs nothing we can give. So He went straight to the man's god: his money. Each of us has gods, which He attacked: lust (6th Commandment), anger (5th), money (9th). Therefore, when approaching God, you must allow 100% of you to be saved, to be controlled by God. This God-planted faith will sprout into works to love God and our neighbor.
Exhort one another to prevent hardening of conscience. Jesus gave all for and to us. We come as beggars to receive His gifts. When we have nothing, He offers not Law but Gospel. He dies our death to make us alive in Him, needing to do nothing to inherit eternal life. God must do all. Give up your Law, receive absolution, and taste sweet Gospel.
Soli Deo gloria.