The Rich Young Ruler


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Chronicles 16; Psalm 106; Matthew 19

Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 19:16-30

 

It is interesting that in life we can do countless things right only to see one wrong move ruin everything.  This is well illustrated in the world of sports.  A baseball player can pitch a perfect game for 8.2 innings, throw one bad pitch, and lose the game with one swing of the bat.  A quarterback can throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns before throwing a game losing interception in the fourth quarter.  A pro golfer can lead for 71 holes of a tournament, hook his tee shot out of bounds on the last hole, and lose by one stroke.  In today’s key passage, we see the story of a man who did many things right only to see one wrong move ruin everything.

The rich young ruler in today’s passage did many things right.  To begin with, he sought out Jesus.  This is always a good place to start.  In addition, he asked Jesus the right questions.  He began by asking Jesus what he should do to gain eternal life.  When Jesus told him to obey the commandments, he replied that he had kept the commandments all of his life.  By Jesus’ lack of an argument to this statement, we might be able to infer that the rich young man had indeed lived a good life of obedience to God.  The man then asked Jesus another great question when he said, “What do I still lack?” (Vs. 20)  Now Jesus knew exactly what was holding this man back.  He knew exactly what he needed to do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  He knew that there was only one path to eternal life, and He knew that He was that path.  Jesus told the rich young man, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Vs. 21)  At this point, after living a good life, coming to the right person, and asking the right questions, the rich young man makes one single mistake that cost him everything.  We read in verse 22 that, “when the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”  The one thing Jesus asked him to do was the one thing he was not willing to do.  The rich young man made money his god, and he was not willing to give up that god to follow the one true God.  In this one moment, all of the “right” things he had done in his life no longer mattered.

Many people misinterpret this passage of Scripture and believe that Jesus is telling all of His followers to sell all of their possessions and give everything to the poor.  This is not the case, as Jesus’ words were only intended for this one young man who was worshiping his money.  However, it does bring to mind a good question that each of us should ask ourselves today.  Hypothetically, if Jesus asked you to sell all of your possessions and give to the poor, how would you respond?  Would you be willing to give up everything for Him?  Think about this question today.  Search your heart for your true feelings and be honest with yourself.  At the end of the day, nothing should be more important to us than Jesus.  Nothing should come before Him.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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Posted on May 2, 2014, in 01 - Matthew and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for the well written devotion. I too agree with your premise that Jesus is not saying all believers must sell all. I believe that to this man ego and wealth had become the crux of his identity, his god. We should seek after God, not fame, fortune, wealth, power. God may then just give some of us if we are good stewards and are willing to use for God’s gain the things he bestows to us.

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