Summary: The young man made several crucial and critical mistakes when he stood before Jesus
The Mistakes Of A Young Man
Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Mat 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
What do we know about this young man who came to Jesus ?
We know something about his age.
He is referred to as a young man.
We know something about his accomplishments.
He is referred to as a ruler. This means that he would have been accomplished in the study of Jewish Law and a person of authority.
We know something about his affluence.
It is said of him that he had great possessions.
This young man had much going for him. Age was on his side. He probably had a long and promising career and life ahead of him. People probably looked up to him and admired him. With his wealth he could afford the nicer things in life and would not be in want of anything. Yet something is not right in his life. In spite of all that he has it’s not enough. There is an emptiness in his life. His thoughts are tuned to eternal matters and spiritual thing. Something has caused him to turn his thoughts to the condition of his soul. And so he comes to Jesus……
The young rich ruler stands before the precious Son of God. He is in the presence of the one that can answer his questions and give him what he is lacking. And yet…….the young man makes some crucial, critical mistakes.
I He was mistaken in how he addressed Jesus.
He addresses Jesus as “teacher”. This young man had probably sat at the feet at some of the finest teachers but he is mistaken in that he thinks that Jesus is just another teacher.
People are still making the same critical mistake today. Failing to acknowledge Jesus as more than just a teacher. Most everyone would acknowledge the historical Jesus and most would consider him a great teacher.
C.S. Lewis once said…that Jesus was either a lunatic, a liar or Lord.
The scriptures proclaim to us that Jesus is Lord
Illust. The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message. “Alter your course ten degrees north. The message was ignored and the captain was angered. So he sent another message. “Alter your course ten degrees south I am the Captain ! When this message too went without response. The captain sent another message that he thought would most surely evoke fear. “Alter your course ten degrees south I am a battleship !” From this message he did receive a reply….”Alter your course ten degrees north I am a lighthouse”
The captain didn’t understand what he was he was dealing with. The rich young man failed to recognize Jesus for who he really is.
II. He was mistaken in what he asked Jesus.
His question is…..”what good thing”. The assumption in the question asked by the young man is that he can do something to achieve eternal life. This is a fatal flaw. We can not work our way to heaven. We are not saved by our own works but by the work that Jesus did on the cross. If we could save our selves by keeping the law, doing some good deed or work of charity then Jesus would not have had to come and die on the cross. We are sinners. Jesus is the Savior