The Rich Man
Good News Translation (GNT)
17 As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up,
knelt before him, and asked him,
"Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?"
18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him.
"No one is good except God alone.
19 You know the commandments:
'Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal;
do not accuse anyone falsely; do not cheat;
respect your father and your mother.'"
20 "Teacher," the man said, "ever since I was young,
I have obeyed all these commandments."
21 Jesus looked straight at him with love and said,
"You need only one thing.
Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor,
and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me."
22 When the man heard this, gloom spread over his face,
and he went away sad, because he was very rich.
23 Jesus looked around at his disciples
and said to them, "How hard it will be for rich people
to enter the Kingdom of God!"
24 The disciples were shocked at these words,
but Jesus went on to say,
"My children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
25 It is much harder for a rich person
to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle."
26 At this the disciples were completely amazed
and asked one another, "Who, then, can be saved?"
27 Jesus looked straight at them and answered,
"This is impossible for human beings
but not for God; everything is possible for God."
28 Then Peter spoke up,
"Look, we have left everything and followed you."
29 "Yes," Jesus said to them,
"and I tell you that those who leave home
or brothers or sisters or mother or father
or children or fields for me and for the gospel,
30 will receive much more in this present age.
They will receive a hundred times more houses,
brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields -
and persecutions as well; and in the age to come
they will receive eternal life.
31 But many who are now first will be last,
and many who are now last will be first."
Commentary taken from
'The Applied New Testament
The Rich Young Man
This is the main question deep in the heart of every person.
This man was rich, he was young, and he was also a ruler. He had everything
the world could offer; but he still was looking for eternal life in heaven.
He was thinking in worldly ways.
He called Jesus good supposing Him to be only a human teacher.
He thought that to obtain eternal life one had to be "good," and he was
asking Jesus if he needed to do any further "good" work in order to be saved.
The young man assured Jesus that as far as he knew he had obeyed all of the
commandments from his youth. Yet he still had no confidence he was saved.
He had broken the first commandment:
You shall have no other gods before me. He had made his possessions his god.
He had loved God to some extent, but he had not given to God all his love.
He loved his possessions more than God.
Because of this, he was not worthy to receive eternal life.
Jesus looked at him and loved him. Then Jesus said, "One thing you lack,"
love for God, love for neighbour. The young man could show his love for God
by giving up that which he loved most, his possessions.
Jesus does not tell everyone to sell their possessions.
Whenever we love anything more than God, we must give it up, we must "sell it."
We cannot serve both God and Money.
To be a disciple of Jesus was too hard. The cost was too great.
The young man went away sad. He loved his possessions more than Jesus.
Poor men can also love their few possessions just as much as the rich love
theirs. The rich are usually less willing to put aside their possessions
for Christ's sake.
Jesus was saying that it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God by one's
own effort. No man can save himself; it is impossible.
But God can save us; with Him all things are possible.
Peter asked, "What then will there be for us?"
It is not wrong for us to inquire what we shall gain by following Jesus.
Jesus gave a promise to all who leave home etc. for His sake will lose nothing.
First, they will gain eternal life. Jesus promised that whatever they give up,
they will receive a hundred times as much, not only in heaven
but on earth as well.
He was talking about the church. When we become Christians, we become members
of a great family, which collectively possesses many homes and many fields.
Jesus taught: "Don't seek to be first." God does not reward men according
to men's opinions. Let each believer seek only Jesus, and follow after Him.
Then God Himself will put each man in the place prepared for him.