14 Jun


The rich young ruler came to Jesus. He wanted to know what he had to do to inherit eternal life. He has a conversation with Jesus – face to face – and goes away sad.

This passage holds enough truth to fill a book. Since this is a short post, we’ll stay with one thought: the ruler came to Jesus and went away sad. (A better translation would be that he went away grieved.) How could that happen?!?

He came for himself.

The ruler wasn’t interested in a relationship with Jesus. He didn’t come to sit at the Rabbi’s feet like Mary did. He didn’t come believing that Jesus could heal like the Centurion did. He didn’t come to worship his Lord like the sinful woman did. He didn’t come to follow Messiah; he came for information.

He came to find out what he could do to inherit eternal life– what HE could DO to inherit eternal life. He was used to making his own way and trusting his own efforts by doing all the right things. Jesus lists some of the commandments: don’t commit adultery, murder, steal or lie, and honor your father and mother, all of which the ruler says he has kept. He is focused on being good– Jesus saw that right away and calls him out in verse 19— and obsessed with getting life right, making his life perfect…. in order to deserve eternal life!

Jesus takes him back to the very first commandment: You shall have no other gods before me. Riches are not inherently evil, but to this man they had become a god, an idol more important than his relationship with his creator. In the very presence of God he values his possessions more than eternal life with Jesus Christ. What?!?

We must come for God.

He is the only one who can earn our salvation. He is the only one worthy of worship.

What we do is give everything over to Him and obediently follow and worship Him. We come to Him because He is the answer to everything we need.

What must we do to inherit eternal life? Come to Jesus and give up everything.

Anything less is lack.



Of course I never do this. Um yeah. I never come to my personal devotions or go to worship on Sunday with selfish motives. I never “make worship happen” on my own strength. Jesus is always my focus, not my own interests.

Even today… I will come to Jesus anew and give up everything.


Photo credit for top image of the Wilderness in Israel: Josh Lavender.



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