Can money buy peace? Most people know the answer is no, or the wealthiest people in the world would be the most satisfied people in the world. But the truth is, some would pay any price to find true and lasting peace. So why do so many people still pursue money as though wealth is the most important thing in life?
We should learn from two men who knew Jesus. They had some things in common: They were both wealthy, both came face-to-face with Jesus and both were forced to make the same big choice. But they responded very differently to Jesus. One found peace. The other did not.
The Rich Man Who Found Sadness
The first man was young and rich. We don’t know his name, but he was desperate to know Jesus’s answer to one of the most important questions anyone can ask: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” That’s a good question. Who doesn’t want to know how to live forever?
Maybe he had been counting his money and discovered what all rich people discover eventually: Money does not satisfy. Even if money buys happiness and peace for a while, it can’t last. You can’t buy your way out of death. How can anyone have lasting peace knowing that eventually — when we die — all our possessions will be lost. You can’t take your money with you. So, this rich, young man wanted eternal life. And he was determined to get it.
But Jesus saw a problem.
On the outside, the man appeared to be a really good person. He kept God’s commandments faithfully, he said, and had done so all his life. But, Jesus could see the man’s heart and knew that his riches were too important to him. So Jesus gave him an assignment: “…Go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
“Sell”? “Give”? This was clearly not the answer the man was expecting. When Jesus asked him to give up his earth-treasure, the man “was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property” (Mark 10:17-22). The man showed that he did not believe Jesus — he “went away” and refused to listen any more. He also didn’t really want eternal life. He wanted his money more. He wouldn’t give it up for anything.
Jesus didn’t answer the man’s question about how to “inherit eternal life”. He simply showed him that his wealth was more important to him than anything else. If the man had been willing to follow Jesus — like the second man — he could have discovered how to have eternal life and the true and lasting peace that comes with it.
The Rich Man Who Found Peace
The second man was named Levi and was also known as Matthew. When he came face-to-face with Jesus, he was given the same basic choice as the first man. Jesus “noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him” (Luke 5:27-32).
If Levi was like most tax collectors in his time, he was probably very wealthy. But, his wealth wasn’t the most important thing to him. Jesus didn’t tell Levi to “leave everything behind,” but he did. He must have wanted something else much more and believed he could find it through following Jesus.
If Levi was searching for true and lasting peace, he found that in Jesus. Later, he was among Jesus’ followers when Jesus said to them, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). If Levi was in search of peace when he followed Jesus, he found it. And it was free of charge.
This tale of two men reveals much about peace. The first man held onto his riches and did not follow Jesus. Did he regret this decision? All we know is that he “was saddened, and he went away grieving”.
The second man, Levi, learned that peace cannot be purchased. It is a gift. And Jesus is the only one able to give such a gift. He is the source of perfect, permanent peace. Trust Him. Follow Him and receive the true and lasting peace your heart is searching for.
HERE AT LIFEROCKS.ORG, WE WANT TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE. YOU CAN EXPRESS YOUR HEART RESPONSE BY TALKING LIKE THIS TO GOD.
“GOD, YOU AND I KNOW I AM LOST. i HAVE TURNED AWAY FORM YOU, AND LOST MY WAY, I HUMBLY ASK YOU TO SAVE ME FROM THIS PERMANENT SITUATION THANK YOU FOR CREATING ME, VALUING ME AND LOVING ME. THANK YOU FOR SENDING THE LORD JESUS TO COVER ME BY DEATH FROM WHAT I ETERNALLY DESERVE AND BY HIS RESURRECTION INVITING ME TO ETERNAL RESUCE.