And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Matthew 19:16-20
Often when people hear of the story about the “Rich Young Ruler” they get hung up on the man being rich, but this is not the heart of this story. There is alot being revealed here by Christ, first notice the man asks “What do I need to do to inherit eternal life”? , this is a great question and gets right to the point, what do people need to do to become saved
Now the first thing is Jesus says “Why do you call me good, nobody is good except God” the word “good” here means “morally excellent” basically perfect. Jesus is saying nobody is morally excellent but God, hence since Jesus is sinless Christ is God. Many often don’t catch this, that Jesus actually declared he is God here. If you reject that Christ is perfect and sinless, then you reject the atonement for your sins, hence your not saved then. It’s important to understand who Jesus truly is, God in the flesh (John 1:14), the sinless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)
What is Jesus first response here to the man, Christ gives him the Ten Commandments, why? Because The Law reveals our sin (Romans 7:7) The Law is a mirror (James 1:23) Before somebody can understand they need Christ, they first need to understand they are a sinner in need of saving, before they can understand they are a sinner they need to understand what is sin, hence the Ten Commandments.
Now notice this man’s response “Oh yeah I kept all the commandments” Right here , Christ knows the man is lying and deceiving himself. Scripture tells us “We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) This man is not acknowledging his sin and has not come to repentance. Hence he will not truly receive Christ because he doesn’t believe he’s a sinner
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:21-24
Since the man won’t acknowledge his sin and repent, Jesus tests the man. Christ said “Go and sell all your stuff and give it to the poor” Of course the man walks away because he doesn’t truly love The Lord, he loves the thought of eternal life. This is the same with most false converts in the Church today, everyone loves the thought of Jesus and eternal life, but how many have truly repented of their sin, and follow Jesus with all their heart, mind, and soul?
Money can become an idol just like anything else you put in place of God. Have you acknowledged you are a sinner and turned away from your sins? Have you truly placed all your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord? Do these things and you will inherit eternal life, Amen!