The rich young ruler had the master passion to be perfect. When he saw Jesus Christ, he wanted to be like Him. Our Lord never puts personal holiness to the fore when He calls a disciple; He puts absolute annihilation of my right to myself and identification with Himself — a relationship with Himself in which there is no other relationship. Luke 14:26 has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification, but with unconditional identification with Jesus Christ. Very few of us know the absolute “go” of abandonment to Jesus.
“Then Jesus beholding him loved him.” The look of Jesus will mean a heart broken for ever from allegiance to any other person or thing. Has Jesus ever looked at you? The look of Jesus transforms and transfixes. Where you are “soft” with God is where the Lord has looked at you. If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on your own way, certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, it is an indication that there are whole tracts of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.
“One thing thou lackest…” The only “good thing” from Jesus Christ’s point of view is union with Himself and nothing in between.
“Sell whatsoever thou hast…” I must reduce myself until I am a mere conscious man, I must fundamentally renounce possessions of all kinds, not to save my soul (only one thing saves a man — absolute reliance upon Jesus Christ), but in order to follow Jesus. “Come, and follow Me.” And the road is the way He went.