Summary: Here’s the story of the only person who ever came to Jesus, and left in a worse condition. What a strong connection there is between our money and our heart! Link included to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint Presentation.
The Rich Young Ruler
This is the only man who ever came to Jesus and left in worse condition!
1. The hardest thing that you will ever give God complete control over will be your finances and possessions.
--Perhaps because they are the necessities of life and survival…harder to trust Him there for some reason [tho’ we blindly trust Him w/ salvation!]
2. Examples: *Lot—had a choice of what land to choose, he chose the well-watered plains of Sodom [didn’t ask if it was a good place to raise kids…just cattle]
*Achan—stole of the firstfruits of Jericho…whole family lost their lives
*Ananias and Sapphira—greed and materialism killed them.
Our attitude toward God affects our attitude toward money and possessions.
Mt 6:21 -
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
3. The story of the rich young ruler begins with the children. [no coincidence that story of trust leads into story of mis-trust/dependence vs. independence]
The 1 thing God will not tolerate is a sense of independence!
Heb. 11:6…w/out faith it is impossible to please God!
It is a picture of dependence versus independence.
I. General Assessment
Nothing wrong w/ wealth…money is not the root of all evil, but the love of it!…but beware, w/ wealth often comes a sense of independence…no wonder Jesus said what He did in v. 25…
…it’s not impossible at all…but less likely! Some very spiritual men in the Bible were wealthy, and used wealth for God’s glory…it can be a wonderful servant…but it’s a terrible master!
Luke passage calls him a ruler…He was part of the upper crust.
When he says he keeps the 10 commandments, you can tell he is trying…he has bought the lie that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Probably a nice guy, having character and many fine qualities.
D. Potential [had it]
Young, whole life in front of him, poised for greater success.
From man’s perspective…it’s looking pretty good so far…he’s got all his ducks in a row, we would say. We’d probably be proud to have him as a member in the church, if we didn’t know better…so let’s dig a little deeper:
II. Personality Assessment
He was living in a time when the religious community wasn’t fond of Jesus/rather they were trying to sabotage and destroy Him…and it wasn’t cool to be His disciple/to talk to Him/associate with Him.
Nicodemus sought the Lord at night…but this rich young ruler went in broad daylight…shows courage! He didn’t care what people thought about it.
v. 17 he ran to Jesus
C. Humility [had it]
Usually people knelt before the ruler, but now the ruler kneels before Jesus.
He has a sincere question…he’s not here to trip Jesus up, no ulterior motives…he realizes something is missing…he’s looking for answers.
So far, he’s still looking pretty good…like all of us this morning in our duds! But what’s hidden behind the clothing?
Only the Lord can do a spiritual assessment…only He can see his heart!
III. Spiritual Assessment