The story of the rich young man in Matthew 19 has often been appropriated for the church in a moralistic way. It generally goes something like this:
We each have our own thing—something that has become, perhaps, an idol. The thing for this rich young man that blocked him from eternal life was his material wealth. This got in the way of truly loving his neighbor. What is that thing for you, which you need to give up?
Mine is coffee and Oreos (not at the same time). There, I said it.
That’s not a terrible application. It is certainly something worth reflecting upon. But I think there is more to this story than meets the eye—a deeper, more transformative thought, at which Jesus is getting.