The Rich Young Man; Look Again

He came to Jesus professing he had kept all the commandments from his youth.  After Jesus told him to sell all he had and give to the poor, the man left very sad for he had great possessions.  We all know this story, there’s nothing else to learn from it right?  (It’s a trick question, don’t answer.)

The story of the Rich Young Man (or Ruler, historically) is accounted in Mark 10:17-22.  He asks Jesus what he must do in order to have eternal life.  Perhaps you’ve heard religion is what we do, the gospel is what Jesus does for us.  But Jesus tells him to keep the commandments.  The man replies he has kept all of the from his youth.  Now we know that he is either lying or more likely has deceived himself.  He thinks he is good, bound by the notion that what he does will earn him salvation.  For those of us that know this story, the way I thought I knew this story, look again at verse 21:

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Jesus looked at him, loved him, and then responded.  Jesus was actually listening to him, not just waiting for his turn to speak.  This man left sorrowful because he had many possession.  The scriptures do not say that Jesus was sorrowful, but we know that it is God’s will that no one should perish.  Jesus wept over Jerusalem and prayed for the ones that hung him on the cross.  Jesus loved the rich young man.  This was a good person that was tragically attached to his worldly possessions.  Jesus loved him.  But this person, like so many others, found something else that he loved more than Jesus.  He went away sad that day.

Every single person you met today: Jesus loves them.  There is a lesson to be learned about how to receive eternal life, but look at the lessons here for Christians.  Look at people.  Listen to them.  Love the way that Jesus loves.  And remember that there are no Super Christians.  Every person that Jesus witnessed to did not get saved either.

2 thoughts on “The Rich Young Man; Look Again

  1. Good thoughts. The record of the rich young ruler has always sparked my interest because of what is not said more than what is said. Within my Baptist background, from a young age I was presented the scripture with the focus on one thing only…the rich young ruler’s sorrow. The presumption was made that his sorrow was due to his refusal to do as Christ asked. Hmmm. But as I read your post, many things are obvious. 1. He was Jewish who followed Mosaic Law. 2. He was of the seven thousand left to come by grace according to Rom 11:4 since he clearly recognized Christ as Messiah…”Mr 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? “3. He apparently believed what Christ said and was convicted in his heart of wrongdoing…thus he was sorrowful. 4. Jesus loved him and clearly answered the young ruler’s sincere question in the form of teaching, of promoting growth, and not in the form of rebuke or rejection. 5. The young ruler’s sorrow likely was related to having failed the Good Master’s expectations.

    The scripture does not say that the young man rejected his Good Master’s will concerning his possessions. It is highly possible that his sorrow was related to what he knew he must do…sell his possessions and give to the the Good Master had asked. As with many others who were examples in scripture, we judge their hearts and their intent….wrongly. The point of this scripture, therefore, is Love, and not an indictment against the young ruler.

    Again, good thoughts. Thanks for the opportunity to again focus on important lessons from our Good Master.

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