Today we will study the story of Jesus and the rich man from the aspect of love. This story of Jesus and the rich man is mentioned in the three Gospels for a reason. Our story begins in Matthew chapter 19, verses 16 to 30:
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?17 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. 18 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, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 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. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Source.
This story also appears in the Gospel of Luke 18:18-30. In Luke, we see a supplement to the story. This young man was a very rich prince, but the reactions from him and Jesus remained the same. We further see that Jesus was also saddened when he saw the lamentation of the young man, verse 24. We see the same story in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10 verses 17 to 31. Jesus tells you only one more thing is missing to be perfect and lists everything from 21 verses according to Matthew. That is what he lacks to be perfect and to approach the Throne of Glory.
What can we learn from the story of Jesus and the rich man?
This boy was rich, but he was not happy. He came to Jesus looking for something. He comes to the right person at the right time, looking for a purpose and something more than life. But this guy is making a mistake. He asks: “what can I do to save myself?” What can I do? But there is nothing he can do.
Everything was done for him. He was saved on the cross, although that has not happened yet. What he can do is let Jesus control his life. Jesus answers him that it is not enough to give up earthly lusts and that not even religion is enough.
The law cannot save you. The Ten Commandments and Moses’ law cannot save you. You can’t fulfill the law. There was no way this rich man could ever fulfill the law. Why did Jesus ask him to give up his possessions and give everything to the poor? Christ did not want his money but pointed his finger at that commandment that this prince couldn’t keep and what he put before God. Materialism. Money. Early wealth.
No one can serve two masters. In the story of Jesus and the rich man, this young man did everything right until the moment he left sad from Jesus. Of course, he was sad because no one left Jesus happy. That young man relied on the law, but the law couldn’t save him. The law never saves.
How can I be saved if I cannot fulfill the law?
If sin is breaking the law (and it is as it is written in the Bible), then we are all sinners because we have broken God’s commandments. No sinner can go to Heaven if he has broken the laws. Even if you fulfill all the rules except the one, you are a sinner, and there is no ticket for you to Heaven. No one can be saved who has broken the laws of God.
And I, I personally, I am a sinner, and then how can I be saved? It is a good question that permeates the whole story of Jesus and the rich man. The law, as Paul says in Galatians, then the law proved to be a teacher. The law whips me to the cross as a teacher. Then, the law is wiping me all the way to the cross and Jesus on the cross. On the cross, God shows how much he loves and reconciles with humanity. It is the Gospel. God is reconciled to the people on the cross.
This is because He who is without sin went to the cross and took all sins upon Himself, in place of sinners like you and me.
The law brings you to the cross. That is its purpose. God shows you how much He loves you on the cross. Instead of me and you, Jesus goes on the cross, who takes on all your and my sins, the One who is without sin. That’s how you save yourself! By the grace of God and by faith in Jesus Christ who died and rose again!
How can I know that I will go to Heaven?
We do not go to Heaven because we are good or because we do good deeds. We can’t even buy a place in paradise. If this were possible, Jesus and the rich man wouldn’t have split up. We are going to Heaven because of what He did on the cross. We return to the cross again.
And no matter where we go in our story of Jesus and the rich man we always go back to the cross. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Well, the word ‘faith’ can be confusing. Faith may not be what you think because it is more than what you think. Faith includes love, devotion, surrender, and commitment; it means giving everything I have to Jesus Christ and surrendering yourself over and over again.
No man was intended for hell. God doesn’t want us to go there. If a man goes to hell, he goes his own way. It was created only for the devil and his servant. God will do everything in His power to stop you from going the wide way. Because of free will, the choice is ultimately yours.
Jesus and the rich man- Summary
What did you learn from the story of Jesus and the rich man?
The story of Jesus and the rich man teaches us that we cannot serve two masters. If you serve Mammon, and money is in the first place for you, as the young man in the story, give it up. The earthly treasure will be eaten by moths, and it will not mean anything to you on the day of judgment. We are born for great things.
Further, the story of Jesus and the rich man teaches us that we cannot comprehend anything above God. By accepting the sacrifice of Jesus, we are saved. That’s it. We are saved by the Grace of God. But that doesn’t mean I can do what I want. For example, if you have a parallel relationship outside of marriage now is the time to end it. Turn the phone on and say hey, it’s over between us. I’m going back to Daddy. Dad is waiting for me with open arms to come back. Heavenly Father calls us for great things.
I’ll leave you with a question. If God calls you to Himself tonight, are you ready to go? Give that one thought. Stay humble. Stay kind. God bless you.
Read more: 7 ultimate reasons to become a Christian today!