Summary: Examining the tragic choice of the "rich young ruler". As he chose his possesions over a relationship with Jesus.
A Poor Investment By A Wealthy Man
Scott Eyre is a former MLB pitcher. He played for the White Sox, Blue jays, Cubs, Giants and the Phillies. Eyre made a substantial amount of money during his years as a MLB pitcher, he was a wealthy man. But he made a decision that would have an enormous impact on his life. He invested a substantial amount of his fortune in the Stanford Financial Group. Unbeknownst to Eyre (and many others as well) Allen Stanford was running a huge “Ponzi Scheme” and Stanford Group was a fraud. As a result Eyre lost his fortune and in February of 2009 was in such dire straits financially had to ask the Phillies for an advance on his salary just to get by. What he had thought was a wise decision turned out to be a very poor investment.
Today I would like to look at another wealthy man who made a much worse investment. The man I would like to consider is often called “The Rich Young Ruler” We are told that he was very wealthy “he had great possessions” . This man came to Jesus and learned the way of salvation. Jesus gave him an invitation to “follow Him and be a disciple” Early on it seemed that the man was ready to do what it takes to attain eternal life.
Jesus then reveals a hard truth, Jesus said “go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me”. - This man, who seemingly had it all, had an opportunity to invest in eternal riches but he chose not to. After hearing the Words of Jesus this wealthy man “went away grieved: for he had great possessions”
You may be here today, and though you do not possess great material wealth, there may be something or many things that are hindering you from making an eternal investment. I hope that you will pay close attention and learn from this man’s great error. Join me if you will as we consider “A Poor Investment By A Wealthy Man” . Let’s begin in verses 17-20 and examine:
I. The Objective Of This Wealthy Man v17-20
Throughout the gospels there were several accounts where Jesus approached individuals and simply said “follow me”. This man came seeking Jesus, and he was intent on seeing Him… it says that he came “running” Notice in verse 17:
A. His Interest - v17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? - In this verse we find that the “Rich young ruler” got some things right:
1) He went to the right place - “He ran to Jesus”
2) He did the right thing - “He humbled himself and kneeled before Jesus”
3) He had the right spirit - he was willing to learn (“good master what shall I do?”
4) He had the right concern - He was thinking about eternity
This young man was the epitome of someone being “so close, yet so far away”. There are so many lost people today who are “so close to salvation, yet they are still so far away”. They are people of good moral character, They have integrity, They are charitable, They believe in Jesus, They truly want to go to heaven…But they have not reached a place of SURRENDER!
This wealthy young man seems to be at a place where he is ready to do what it takes, but we will see that tragically that is not the case. Look with me to verse 18 as we see not only His Interest, but also:
B. His Information - v18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 and he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
In this discourse Jesus reviews the commandments with this young man. In responding to the question “what must I do that I may inherit eternal life” Jesus says “you know the commandments”. And the “rich young ruler” professes that he had “observed the commandments since his youth” - There is something very important to see in this conversation: This man had everything this world could offer…He had power, position, possession and prosperity… According to him, he was a man of good moral character and he obeyed the Law, Yet it is apparent that there is still something missing. He is searching for something that could fill a void in his heart and life, and this search has his RUNNING and FALLING AT THE FEET OF JESUS! - He was “so close, yet so far away”