Summary: A study of the Gospel of Mark 10: 17 –22
Mark 10: 17 –22
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” 20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Both Matthew and Luke wrote in their Gospels this same sermon of our Lord, so let’s see what they listed.
Luke 18, “18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” 21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
Matthew 19, “16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 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.” 18 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,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 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.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 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. 24 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.”
This story is not out of place. I believe our Lord put this here as a continual example of what He Is teaching His disciples.
Look at this guy – Mr. Perfect. Everything a normal sinful person in this world seeks to be – healthy, young, rich, and has power and influence. However, with all a man could want, he was still lacking something. In Psychology we call this ‘overriding symptoms.’
In this further example of His teaching our Lord Jesus’ authority again comes out. He is depicted as the One Who lays down the rules for entry into His Kingdom. And it also illustrates something else. He has just been speaking of how it is necessary to receive His invitation to join Him like a little child, and now here was an important and wealthy man who wanted guidance. Our Lord Jesus makes the demand that he forgets all his encumbrances, and with the heart of a little child forsake all and follow Him.
For the point was that he could not come and receive eternal life like a little child because his wealth got in the way. It prevented the most important decision a person needs to make in being of prime importance. So at the best any allegiance would have been a half-hearted allegiance as he tried to serve both God and Mammon. He wanted the best of both. As you and I both know it doesn’t work that way. And when he goes away disappointed, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ then goes on to point out that eternal life is not to be earned by dedication to good works. Rather it is a gift which is received by those who with unencumbered hearts follow Him. His point is that it is those who in their hearts have disregarded earthly things who will receive eternal life in the world to come. And why have they done this? It was ‘for His sake.’ This was another huge claim to being unique. The thought is not that they receive eternal life because of what they have sacrificed. It is that their sacrifice reveals their love for Him, in that they do it for His sake, following Him in childlike trust. It is this love and trust which evidences that they are true servants of God. Thus they will receive eternal life.