The world has a way of continually sneaking up on us, so it is always good to be reminded that we need to “put the world behind us.”
Mark 10:17-31 – Five things we can learn about following Jesus from the story of the rich young ruler.
Three Questions About This Passage
- Was the rich young ruler sincere? We don’t know for sure, perhaps he was out looking for a public compliment from a teacher, but to some extent it seems like he was sincere. Although he was a person of some position he came to Jesus and knelt before him. Jesus responded to his question, he had affection for him and didn’t rebuke him for his question. This fellow felt like something was missing, he was lacking something.
- Why did Jesus question his use of the term “good teacher.” Jesus wanted the fellow to think a bit more about “who Jesus was.”
- Why did Jesus ask him to “sell everything,” Jesus didn’t ask anyone else to sell all of their possessions. This man thought there was some number of or specific good thing that he must do. Jesus was asking the “heart question” by asking the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and give it to the poor.
Five Lessons For Us
- Following Jesus is the only way to have eternal life. Jesus can’t be your savior if he isn’t your Lord. Jesus isn’t just calling people to believe that he is the son of God and stop there. Jesus needs to also be Lord of our lives.
- Matthew 6:24, John 12:25-26 – Following Jesus requires a total allegiance. While Jesus didn’t ask everyone to sell all that they have, but he does ask that all who follow Him come with complete allegiance.
- Hebrews 13:5, Mark 4 – Following Jesus is often hindered by money and possessions.
- Matthew 6:19 – Jesus says “get rid of them.” If you can bring yourself to do that you will have treasure in heaven.
- The man went away sorrowful. He had great possessions. He couldn’t give them up.
- It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a wealthy person to be saved. The better off someone is the more they have pulling them back and its harder for them to realize how bad off they are apart from God.
- Following Jesus is only possible by God’s grace. With God all things are possible. Jesus said this first when talking about people and salvation! When following Jesus looks really hard, remember that it is only possible because of Jesus any way.
- Following Jesus is worth it. Jesus says that whatever we give up will be counted towards our reward.
How do we apply this?
We need to examine our hearts from time to time for shifting allegiance. Is there an area in our lives that we are telling Jesus “no?”
1 Timothy – Keep yourselves free from the love of money. Money has a magnetic pull on our hearts, it pulls in the wrong direction. Don’t put your security and affection in your wealth.
Worry a little bit about raising rich young rulers. If money and possessions are a hindrance to spiritual life we need to be careful how we set things up for our children.