Summary: The Rich young ruler was a good guy looking for the finishing touches on his life to secure eternal life. When he couldn't find this on his own he turns to Jesus for an answer.
On the Road with Jesus: The Rich Young Ruler
March 24, 2019
As we get closer to Easter, Jesus begins to get a little closer to Jerusalem. Because it wasn’t yet his time, Jesus had stayed away from Jerusalem. The more Jesus taught and healed the more attention he garnered. Many were coming to believe that he was the promised Messiah.
The closer Jesus would come to Jerusalem the more perilous his journey would become. We have seen though as in the case of Lazarus that Jesus was willing to take the risk as he knows his Father’s timetable and that time is drawing nearer.
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus has physically healed people like the 10 lepers and spiritually healed the 1 who came back to say thank you. He has blessed children and he has continued to teach about the kingdom yet to come and how to live and what is required to follow him.
Jesus taught with such authority, not like the others. This would often lead to friction between Jesus and the religious leaders of the day. It was because of this authority and command of so many things that we hear from a rich young ruler today. This rich young ruler comes seeking an answer from Jesus.
Once again some creative liberties have been taken to help this man tell his story. The full story is found in all three of the gospels. It is found in Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-27 and you are encouraged to go back and read this account in its entirety. We’ll let the rich young ruler tell you about his encounter with Jesus on the road to Jerusalem.
All I wanted was some confirmation or some direction from Jesus. I had been watching him for some time now. His fame had grown over time. I didn’t think much about him the first time someone had told me they had listened to a new teacher.
They told me how impressed they were with him. There were lots of traveling rabbis in my time. There were more synagogues than there were rabbis to teach in them. It was often a treat to get a really good teacher to stop and spend some time in your synagogue as they traveled around.
Word of this Jesus fellow grew rather quickly. People began to tell me how they had never witnessed anyone with such command of the scriptures. He taught with such authority. There were times when his teachings were so different from what I had been taught. Often times though they made such sense and other times I wasn’t always sure what he was talking about.
From the first time I had heard Jesus however I was drawn into his teaching. He was so passionate about what he was saying. He was so compassionate to those who came to be healed. It didn’t seem to matter who they were.
This was one of the things that amazed me about this man. He seemed to be enamored with the poor and the destitute. I wasn’t sure why he wasted his time with these people. Did he not understand that if they were sick it was because of their sins?
I was blessed. You could say that I had it all. I was young. I was rich. I was smart. I had power. Because in the gospel of Luke it calls me a ruler, some think that I was most likely a ruler of a synagogue. A guy like me had quite the social status.
I had grown up in wealth. My family had been wealthy and so I was allotted certain priviledges in life. I was taught by some of the best in the synagogue. I loved learning. I really loved studying the scriptures. I learned all about the history of my people.
I learned how they God had led them out of Eygpt. It amazed me the things that God did through Moses and yet how the people still had so much trouble believing and following. The history of my people, the Jews is a complicated one.
We are called a chosen people. God led my ancestors to this land but unfortunately as history says they didn’t always do a good job of following after God. To me it seemed to clear. God had given the people a way. God had handed down the laws to Moses.
How could the people not follow these laws? God administered justice to those who didn’t follow the laws and he blessed those who kept the laws. The scriptures showed this to be true. When the people worshipped God, Yahweh and him alone things were good. When people started worshipping foreign gods, well that is when we struggled.
My nation had been conquered by foreign nations many times because of their inability to faithfully serve the one true God. My people had kings, prophets and priest that had led us throughout our history. None of them seem to quite get the job done.