Having kept the commandments, the youth needed and was ready for a further lesson. The Lord saw in him sore need of perfection—the thing the commonplace Christian thinks he can best do without—the thing the elect hungers after with an eternal hunger. Perfection, the perfection of the Father, is eternal life. ‘If thou wouldst be perfect,’ said the Lord. What an honor for the youth to be by him supposed desirous of perfection! And what an enormous demand does he make of him! To gain the perfection he desired, the one thing lacking was that he should sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and follow the Lord! Much, much more would be necessary before perfection was reached, but certainly the next step, to sell and follow, would have been the step into life: had he taken it, in the very act would have been born in him that whose essence is eternal life, needing but process to develop it into the glorious consciousness of oneness with The Life.
Was it not hard? Hard to let earth go, and take heaven instead? For eternal life, to let dead things drop? Let him say it was hard who does not know the Lord! The youth was so pleasing in the eyes of the Master, that he would take him to be with him—to walk with him, and rest with him, and go with him only to do for him what he did for his Father in heaven—to plead with men, be a mediator between God and men. He would set him free at once, a child of the kingdom, an heir of the life eternal.