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Rich Young Ruler

Let us consider the story of a rich young man.

Matthew 19:16-22

Gold coins

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Why do you think the man went away sad?

The traditional interpretation of this passage is that he went away sad because he loved his possessions more than Jesus.

But when I asked my daughter, my six-year-old had a different response.

“I think he went away sad because he had a lot of stuff.  He was sad because he was going to give it all away.”

This is the faith of a child.  What else would the rich young man do, but to go away and do just what Jesus had asked of him?  Do we think that he chose his wealth over Jesus because that’s what we would do?  May it never be!


I will obey you, my Jesus.  I am ready to do all that you ask of me!

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