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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Rich Young Ruler and Prayer

The Rich Young Ruler and Prayer

What was he ruler of?

No where in the text of Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10;17-27, or Luke 18:18-27 could I find any indication that the man was a ruler of anything. He owned a lot of property and resources, so I'm assuming he got the title because of his wealth. Maybe he was the ruler of his own estate.

Some translations just call him a rich young man. Maybe that is a better way to think about him.

What did he want from Jesus?

He sought eternal life. Even though he was wealthy and had influence among other people, he recognized that there was something missing in his life. He knew that Jesus was a teacher and perhaps he heard him preach and teach. He wanted to share in the kind of joy and assurance Jesus talked about. 

Good Master

Jesus immediately challenged him on the title he put on him. "Why do you call me good? None is good but God." Then Jesus referred him to the Commandments:"Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor thy father and mother." In Matthew 19:19 he added "Love thy neighbor as thyself" 

The Young Man followed these from his teens

Both Mark and Luke stick to the original Commandments, but all three agree about the one thing the young man lacked. He was more concerned with his wealth than with eternity. 

Jesus Called Him To Be Perfect

Jesus looked at him kneeling, begging for eternal life and loved him at once.
"Sell your possessions and give it all to the poor and come and follow me. "
The young man was very sad for he had great possessions. 
Jesus invited him to take up his cross and join his company of followers. Giving everything away is a cross not easy to bear, at least for one who has a lot.

Is seeking information about heaven equal to seeking admittance to heaven? I don't think it's quite the same. We don't have any evidence he did more than that. But maybe some Disciple met him at a later time and proved the claims of Jesus and taught him the way of Salvation. What about you? Has anyone explained the Way of Salvation to you?