The scripture declared that it was a certain ruler, and then it said. a young man, who address our Lord.
“And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master,” (v.18)
Note the question that Jesus ask the young ruler “Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” (v.19) The Word was made flesh (Jh.1:14)
The question which he asks represents the deepest cravings of the human hear “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps.51:10)
This question is as old as human nature, as manifold in its complexion as the human experience, as abiding in its persistence as the human need.“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Ac.2:37)
What did the young man mean when he came running and kneeling and asked “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” This mean at least three things.
First, a real, personal existence with Jesus. “what must I do to be saved?”(Ac.16:20) This implies distinct consciousness and activity. He is too exceptional too be selfishly in earnest, to mean less than this. To Nicodemus Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (Jh.3: 5)
Secondly, Heaven is an existence removed from the imperfection of this present time “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev.21:4)
His notions of immortality may have been earthy, but he certainly desired a life which was difference from the changeful and limited, in an eternal life “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (Ja.1:17)
Thirdly, A life in relation to a moral or spiritual system. He has earthly possessions.“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Mt.13:45 )
Riches are ever luring him to the fateful shores of pleasure. There may be many things that can lead a person in to sin.
If there is anything we must do, is to root our conduct and life in the truth of God’s everlasting word “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Jh.14:15)
Eternal life is not mere endlessness. It is endless goodness and truth. To be in harmony with this is to live eternally.
Explain it to me, is the passionate entreaty, and who does not love him fort his earnest passion?
Let’s think about the answer Christ was about to give to this man. The question is “What shall I do.” Our life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions.
Can we part with them, that we may the more unreservedly obey the vision which has been made known to us? “Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”((v.22) thus the truth probed him.
He might not have been called actually to sell his estate, any more than Abraham was called to offer Isaac.
But the trial of his will was made, and in the trial, he was found waiting “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful:” ( (v..23)
We whom the truth is daily proving everyday, yet we find that we are caught up by all kinds of vanities. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” (I.Jh.2:16)
To be joined to Christ, to live in his light, to be the manner of person that he was, to be pledged to him as our friend and Brother of our perfect choice, and his flesh as meat indeed, and his blood as drink indeed, this is the way to eternal life. To Peter and Andrew the Lord said “Follow me,” (Mt.4:19)
This ruler should interests us. There are difficulty, hindrance, to salvation that are produced by earthy goods “And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” (Lk.14:17)
Great possessions, Christ declares, increase the risk of losing the true spiritual health, are apt to stand in the way of the eternal life “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.” (v.23)
It is not the riches themselves that are evil, it is, as one man explained, it is the trust in them, the love of them, that is the evil “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I.Tim. 6:10)
More than this, with little there may be as much of earthiness and love of the world as when there is much.
A crown is refused. Who the ruler was we cannot tell.
All of a sudden he appear, all of a sudden he disappears “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (Ja.4:14)
It is noticeable that Jesus “loved him” in this distinction he is sustain in the Gospels, with Martha and Mary and Lazarus.
For just a moment the crown hangs over his head. He finally rejected it, he waves it aside. King Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Ac.26:28)