Summary: Desire far surpasses talent, charisma, and even exceptional training. If I could choose, it would always be desire.
Mark 10:17-22 -- 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? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 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. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: 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. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Proverbs 30:15-16 -- The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
l. THE RICH YOUNG RULER
-The text from Mark is but a third of the picture of the man who approached Jesus on that day in the costal regions of Judea, the southern-most portion of Israel. A further profile of this man comes from the accounts given by Matthew and Luke (Matt. 19:16; Luke 18:18). John is strangely silent in his omission of the young man.
-The profile of the man from the three accounts proves to us that he was a young man who was rich who held the position of a ruler. He was a young man who was highly principled and highly motivated. He had invested his talents wisely, not fingering them until they had lost their power, nor had he hoarded them away to be buried in some obscure place in his heart.
-This young man was filled with honesty and love for God. He had the markings of discipline, an excellent quality to have, but discipline without desire will bring dryness to the soul of every man.
-Inside of this young man is the picture of a generation of men who had the discipline but did not have desire to accompany their efforts. Inside of this young man were some hidden keys that once found could have unlocked the doors of greatness.
A. The Approach of The Rich Young Ruler
-The approach of this young man to Jesus bears attention. He came to Jesus and assumed the posture of respect, submission, and reverence. He did not desire to be antagonistic toward the Great Teacher with his question of great importance.
-He knew that righteousness was synonymous with eternal life and entrance into the kingdom of God. Such a principle still prevails.
2 Corinthians 7:1 -- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Ephesians 4:21-24 -- "If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:" "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;" "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;" "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
-This is done in view of what the Epistle of Peter gives to us:
2 Peter 3:10-12 -- "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness," "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
-Great emphasis is placed on righteousness. It is my belief that spirituality and conduct are inseparable. A true relationship with God is going to affect the behavior of a man. It marks him and separates him from the world.
-This young man placed a high emphasis on conduct over ritual. He was not so caught up in his world that he did not have time for his God.
B. The First Great Question
-The first question was related perhaps to the externals of life. The second question that he would ask was related to the internals of life. His first question was a very important question: