READ: Mark 10:17-31 (esp., v17-22)
- This story is often titled, “The Rich Young Ruler.” However, in Mark’s version, we know only that he is wealthy (v22). In Luke, we learn that he is a ruler (Lk. 18:18) and in Matthew, we learn he is young (Mt. 19:22). Mark merely identifies a man who came to ask Jesus the important question of salvation. In doing so, he calls Jesus “good” which Jesus refers on to His Father. Some believe the man is simply flattering Jesus while others think he really believes Jesus is good.
- In any case, Jesus responds by reminding the man of the 10 Commandments. For a Jew, that would have been the starting point. And this man claims a level of innocence from childhood. In other words, he believed he’d kept the law. Jesus doesn’t argue with him. There is no challenge offered that might indicate he was self-deceived about his own faithfulness.
- But, Jesus doesn’t leave the conversation there. He calls for more. Jesus established that this man may have been obedient to the Law, but he had not given total allegiance to the Law-giver. Keeping the law would never be enough because it could never do the job. Only a total abandonment to the King could indicate a relationship that was adequate. Salvation is never about doing enough…it’s always about the grace that comes to those who totally give themselves to the Father.
- Reflect on this man’s motives for approaching Jesus. Real answer? Affirmation? Reassurance? Status?
- How serious do you think Jesus is about him selling everything? Why?
- What would selling everything to follow Jesus indicate in this man’s life?
PRAY: Ask God to help you cultivate pure motives in your relationship with Him. Pray that you can discern what that “one thing” is in your life that keeps you from following Jesus. Commit to following Jesus no matter what that one thing turns out to be