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The Rich Young Man July 8, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 19:16-30.

Summary: In this passage, a rich young man asks Jesus how he can obtain the life of God. Jesus responds by asserting that one obtains the life of God by keeping His commandments.

The rich young man asserts that He has kept all of God’s commandments – yet it turns out that he cannot place all of his possessions under His Lordship.

Jesus then stresses the following point: it is impossible for a rich man to obtain the life of God.

His disciples are dumbfounded; they wonder if anyone can obtain the life of God. Jesus responds by stating that while men cannot obtain it by their own efforts, God can enable them to obtain it by causing them to submit to His Lordship. Moreover, at His Second Coming, His disciples will:

  • reign with Him
  • inherit the entire body of Christ.

Thoughts: Here, Jesus asserts that a rich man cannot obtain the life of God by his own efforts. Ryle offers some insights on this point:

Riches, which all desire to obtain – riches, for which people labor and toil and become gray before their time – riches are the most perilous possession. They often inflict great injury on the soul; they lead people into many temptations; they engross people’s thoughts and affections; they bind heavy burdens on the heart, and make the way to heaven even more difficult than it naturally is.

While I lead a (relatively) spartan life, I strive to retain the comforts that I enjoy. Since I crave security and comfort, I strive to retain my job; moreover, the prospect, however remote, of unemployment is worrisome. I posit that many believers experience at least some stress regarding their finances at some point in this life; even if one has achieved financial security by accumulating great wealth, I posit that the process of building a nest egg is stressful. I struggle to maintain my confidence and trust in God’s providence on a daily basis, and I certainly need His forgiveness for those instances where I have doubted His willingness to supply my daily needs.

Jesus also asserts that each believer inherits the entire body of Christ. Ryle offers some insights on this point:

Christ can raise up friends for us who will more than compensate for those we lose; Christ can open hearts and homes to us far more warm and hospitable than those that are closed against us; above all, Christ can give us peace of conscience, inward joy, bright hopes and happy feelings, which will far outweigh every pleasant earthly thing that we have cast away for his sake.

I do not know if I have lost any friends due to my faith, as none of the unbelievers whom I have known have ever stated that they could not interact with me due to my Christian worldview. I do know that I have enjoyed the hospitality and care of various believers over the years. I am grateful for those believers whom God has placed in my life to bless me and encourage me in my walk with Him; I am curious as to how God will enable me to maintain – and deepen – those relationships in the next life…

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