Summary: Today I want to look at an encounter between Jesus and a “Rich Young Ruler”. Kind of like Jesus meets Mark Zuckerberg. The rich seem to have everything yet this very, very rich young man knew he was missing something. What are you missing?
What one thing do you lack?
The Rich Young Ruler
We are now just four weeks away from Easter Sunday 2018. Easter happens to be on April 1st, April Fool’s Day. I kind of think that God the Father enjoys the irony in that one.
Satan really was a fool to think he could kill Jesus and keep Him dead. We’ll leave that for Easter.
Today I want to look at an encounter between Jesus and a “Rich Young Ruler”. Kind of like Jesus meets Mark Zuckerberg. At the age of 28 Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook and yes he is Jewish was raised Jewish and excelled in every way.
He was enrolled in Harvard and dropped out to pursue his Facebook business. They still gave him an honorary degree. His estimated worth is now 72.4 billion dollars and he is now the fourth wealthiest man in the United States and closing in on #3 Warren Buffett.
Mark is now 33 years of age but let’s imagine him at 28 approaching Jesus much like this “Rich Young Ruler” did in Mark Chapter 10.
This message is number two of seven as we look at seven key events in the seven weeks prior to the Passion of the Christ.
Last week the key event was the resurrection of Lazarus. That got everyone’s attention in a big way. This week we find Jesus still in Judea near the Jordan River teaching the crowds and demonstrating miracles.
This rich young man runs up to Jesus and kneels at Jesus feet while asking a question.
“Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Mark 10:17 KJV
I find it interesting how this man of substance approached Jesus and how he addressed Him. This very wealthy, very powerful young man has a significant measure of wisdom. He knows that Jesus is no ordinary teacher or master and so the word “Good” is used at the beginning of this salutation.
Jesus lets this rich young man know that the use of the word good should be reserved for God alone. Why call me good Jesus responds. Mark 10:18
In fact it seems Jesus is giving this rich young man an opportunity to reconsider using another word in his greeting.
The greeting says a lot about what this rich young man thinks of Jesus. He did not call Jesus, Messiah, or Lord, but did consider Jesus a good Rabbi.
I think that’s interesting don’t you?
This very wealthy young man did come on his knees and that says something significant. He was not without humility even though he possessed great social stature.
But wait. Is this a case of someone feigning humility?
“Humility is putting others first in thought, word, and deed. It resists the temptation to self-aggrandize. It's easy to feign interest in another person if there's something in it for you, like a job promotion or increased recognition.”
This young man lays his cards on the table as he asks his question.
“Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mark 10:17 KJV
Here is a super wealthy young Jewish man who has come into his own. You might call him a self-made man. Maybe a billionaire by our standards yet this man who has or who can have literally anything he wants seems to want one thing – eternal life.
For some reason he thinks Jesus knows how or where to get it. I guarantee you this young man thought long and hard about putting this question to Jesus in just the right way.
Jesus addressed the first half of that salutation first the good part and then Jesus goes right into the - what part of “what must I do to inherit eternal life”?
This really seems like an odd question to get from a wealthy young Jewish man who has his world on a string. Jesus accommodates this young man with the very tried and true Bible answer. Obey the commandments and law of God. Mark 10:19
Immediately the young man lets Jesus know he is an obedient observer and practitioner of God’s law. Was this pride on the young man’s part or honesty?
We are not to judge. We do see that this young man is pleading a case.
You see in Jewish culture to be wealthy is to be blessed by God even if it was an inheritance or your own hard work it remains as a blessing from God and the conclusion was that God blesses the obedient, for God loves the obedient so therefore this young man must have been extremely obedient and therefore extremely loved by God.
Mark tells us that Jesus looked at him and loved him so that much is true. Mark 10:21
It may well be that this young man was a pious, God loving rich guy and that he was not feigning humility after all.