In the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began – Titus 1:2
The story of the rich young ruler always seems to fall on discussions regarding possessions and the kingdom of heaven. He was looking for that guarantee of eternal life and thought he was pretty close – maybe a deed or two away from being perfect. Of course, he was under the impression that one earns their way into heaven. Jesus of course goes to the heart of the matter. If he really gave all he had to the poor would he have entered heaven? No, he would not have. But the response did suggest that stored up treasure was worth more than the guarantee of hope of eternal life by following Jesus.
It is true – Jesus does want us to give Him 100% of our heart. This is why coming to Him everyday and giving it to Him matters. He is our only hope of redemption.
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Even though the rich young ruler was dead serious and had no intention of playing any games when it came to religious matters, he still had a spiritual hunger. But notice that those things he did, religiously, did not bring him peace of mind. Like Luther who was studying law and then deciding to become a monk in hopes of finding God’s favour, this young man was trying his best to please God.
How can we pray that we ourselves do not fall into this trap, and how can we spur on our family and friends to seek the giver of eternal life – Jesus?
Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 19:16-23