There is this insidious religious lie that Jesus can just be added to life like a piece of furniture. We look at him as the missing element to round out our life. He’s that accessory that will finish out the room. This is what a rich young ruler thought when he encountered Jesus in Luke 18. He was a good man, his life was on a positive track, he was wealthy, he was important and yet he knew that he was missing something. He approached Jesus to secure the missing piece, the thing that would round out his life. He wasn’t approaching Jesus to have his world turned upside down, he wasn’t approaching Jesus to have his identity disturbed, he just wanted to add eternal life to his resume. What Jesus told him to do was shocking; “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich” (Luke 18:22-23).
The young, rich and important man got more than he bargained for. He just wanted to download another file on his hard drive to give him a little more power but Jesus came with a whole new program. Jesus came with dynamite to explode everything that gave him identity and start something new. Jesus came to revolutionize his life. Jesus was not going to let him stay where he was, or let him be the same as he was, or just add a dash of religion to his already nice life. Jesus doesn’t work that way.
When you meet the real Jesus he will disturb you and as a result you will smash your idols, you will turn from your sins and everything that identifies you - whether it’s money, your sexual identity, your job, your status or anything else - and you will turn it over to him. Jesus will simply not allow you to give him another small seat at the crowded table of your heart. He is on a takeover mission. He wants complete ownership and he will not take a seat in your life until he secures that commitment.
Jesus is a radical. He will never be treated as an additive to life.