Leviticus 24:1-25:55 / Mark 10:13-31 / Psalm 44:9-26 / Proverbs 10: 20-21
The Story of the Rich Young Ruler
This is a story about an advantaged, wealthy and successful young man. He had an excellent resume and was in good standing in the community. He did all the “right” things, followed all the rules and had probably even clocked up the appropriate amount of community service and charity work hours. Yet, even with all this, he wanted more. For him the “carrot” was eternal life and he wanted it.
When Jesus asked him to lay all he had worked for aside - his accomplishments, community standing and the solid financial nest he had built for himself - and simply follow Him, the cost of eternal life proved to be too much. He went away sad and dejected at the thought of not attaining this prized positioning. He wasn’t prepared to let go of the tight grip he had of all he’d worked for and faithfully let the Lord lead him.
No doubt, Jesus was simply testing him – proving a point. He most likely wouldn’t have actually forced the young man to give up all he had, he was simply illustrating to him the fact that his resume, riches and community standing ruled him and dictated the way he lived instead of allowing the Lord to lead him.
Jesus calls us to lay aside our “selves” – our self-driven desires, our plans and our personal resume building and open our hearts to Him in a new way. He asks us to loosen our grip on the things of this world and open our hearts and hands to the things He has for us – beginning first with having a real, growing relationship with Him. Life with Him leads to true peace, true life, true fruit, and true purpose. Great news!