the Rich Young Man
I let nothing
come in the way of coming to Jesus Christ.
Every son wants his weekly
allowance as soon as possible—until his mother points out the one
chore that still needs to be finished.
When the rich young man came to Jesus, he sincerely thought he wanted
eternal life, and he asked Jesus most earnestly what he could do to get
it. Jesus felt genuine love for the man—so much so that he pinpointed
the one obstacle that had to be removed first. In doing so, Jesus revealed
that the man’s wealth consumed him. As much as he loved the thought
of eternal life, the young man loved his current lifestyle and prestige
This particular man, like many other rich men, wanted to do something
to gain eternal life. Money makes you feel like you can do anything, doesn’t
it? He had his financial portfolio and professional résumé
all in order. Alongside his impeccable character qualifications, his résumé
even listed all his favorite charities. That always looks good when closing
a deal, doesn’t it? But Jesus wasn’t interested in dealing—he
wanted the man’s heart.
Once again, Jesus saw clearly into the man’s life and spoke words
that went directly to the point. The man had indeed obeyed the everyday
commands Jesus listed—but not the greatest command of all. He didn’t
love the Lord his God with all his heart and soul and strength. He did
have other gods before the true God. He wanted eternal life, for sure,
but not if that meant forsaking his gods of money, possessions, and influence.
Nothing in this life is more important than loving and following the Lord
Jesus Christ. Not family relationships or financial security, not fulfilled
dreams or temporal fame.
Unlike the rich young man, you and I can make the right choice to let
go of anything that keeps us from enjoying God’s very best.
STUDY: You can read more about the rich young man in the gospel of Matthew
(19:16-30) and in Luke (18:18-30). Also, read from chapter ten (17-31)
in Mark's gospel.
Detail from painting by Raphael, c. 1518
excerpt is from the Living Faith™ Bible (Tyndale House Publishers)
Copyright © 2003, 2000 David and Renée Sanford
in this life is more important than loving and following the Lord Jesus
Christ. Not family relationships or financial security, not fulfilled
dreams or temporal fame."