Summary: This outline looks at the five questions that centered around the rich young ruler. Three were asked by the young man; one by Jesus; and one by the disciples.
FIVE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS JESUS ANSWERED
Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
He said to Him, "Which ones?" 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 your mother,’ and, ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
“The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. "And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:16-26 (NKJV)
QUESTION # 1: “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Verse 16.
Then, as now, many believe that we are saved by our good works. We must remember Ephesians 2: 8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
QUESTION # 2: ”Why do you call Me good?” Verse 17.
Jesus made it clear that there is only One who is perfectly good: that is God. Inasmuch as the young man did not change his salutation, we are led to believe that he recognized Jesus as the Son of God.
QUESTION # 3: “Which ones?” Verse 18.
This was the young man’s question in response to the Lord’s statement: “Keep the commandments.” By asking this question, he was implying that some commandments need to be obeyed while others might be ignored.
Jesus then summarized all the commandments that referred to man’s dealings with man. Although the young man declared that he had kept all these commandments from his youth, it is obvious that he fell short of the last one that Jesus had recited to him: “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.”
QUESTION # 4: “What do I still lack?” Verse 20.
In spite of his high moral standards, the young man knew he had fallen short of salvation. By Jesus’ answer: “Go sell that thou hast, and give it to the poor,” we learn that the man’s besetting sin was his love of worldly wealth which exceeded his love of God. The very first commandment God gave was: “thou shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3
QUESTION # 5 “Who then can be saved?” Verse 25.
The disciples asked this question after Jesus stated that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to inner the kingdom of God.”
That Jesus was referring to a literal camel and the eye of a literal needle seems to be established by their question and His answer: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Verse 26.