Today I want to continue studying people involved with Jesus during the time in His ministry we call Holy Week. The first person I would like to look at is the rich young ruler Jesus met before He got to Jerusalem.
Mark 10- Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Remember, Jesus’s ministry was teaching Old Testament law- the new covenant hadn’t started yet. So the rich young ruler thinks he is doing everything right. He has kept all the commandments from his youth. So Jesus, who loved him, asks one more thing…give your possessions away and follow me.
The rich young ruler couldn’t do it. He had faith in himself which translates as pride.
Jesus offered him fellowship and treasure in heaven and he couldn’t let his stuff go. Don’t look around… look straight ahead- don’t look to the left or to the right. Anybody reading this have stuff getting in the way of a healthy relationship with God? Hmmmm??? Continuing on…
Mark 10- With God All Things Are Possible
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
The rich young ruler thought he had it figured out. Even the disciples thought that obtained riches was a characteristic of someone who was blessed (they were greatly astonished). Remember, the blessings of the Mosaic Law were meant for the flesh. There are no spiritual blessings within the Law. They thought they cracked the code on how to live holy and inherit eternal life according to the Mosaic Law. But the rich young ruler and the disciples were confused- only faith and trust in Jesus and the acceptance of His grace and mercy leads to eternal life.
Let’s compare the rich young ruler with someone who put his faith in Jesus- Blind Bartimaeus- just a little further down the road.
Mark 10- Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
This man had faith to call out to Jesus- even when everyone else was telling him to be quiet. He knew who Jesus was- he was excited and enthusiastic- he threw his cloak off to go meet Jesus. And when Jesus heard his request, He said your faith has made you well.
Bartimaeus followed Jesus. The rich young ruler didn’t- his pride and greed got in the way.
Your faith and trust, placed in Jesus Christ, will make you well too.
I can’t say how you will be made well personally- I’m not Jesus- I can tell you my salvation is every bit the miracle that Bartimaeus receiving his sight was.
Part 3 tomorrow- Grace & Peace,