Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”
And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:17-22
Coors Field in Colorado has a really awesome bullpen. For me it was a cool place to sit and think. One day while I was sitting there in study and prayer I read this passage, and then I literally just asked Jesus about it. I honestly didn’t know if that rich young man is me.
Right before this passage, the Bible tells us that people were trying to bring their children in to be blessed by Jesus and the disciples were telling them to get away. Jesus saw that and said, “Hey! What are you doing? You don’t block these kids from coming to me!”
Jesus told the disciples, “These kids are the center of the Kingdom of God. They are It. Their kind of faith is what this Kingdom is built on. You want to know how to be saved? You want to have eternal life? Then be like them. You need to have childlike faith.”
After blessing the children, Jesus left. It was then that the rich young man chased Him down in the street saying, “Wait! What must I do to be saved?”
I think this young man heard Jesus say that we must have childlike faith to enter the Kingdom, so he ran after Jesus to ask Him about it. “I’m not a child,” he said. “So what do I need to do?” When He heard that, Jesus told him, “You know what to do. Keep the commandments. Don’t steal, don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, and so on.”
When the young man said, “I’ve done all that,” then Jesus said, “Right. So go, and sell everything you have.”
Do you see what was happening here? Jesus was helping the young man understand how to have childlike faith. What is that? What is the faith of a child?
Children don’t have anything. They’re totally dependent on their parents. My sons say, “Dad, I’m hungry,” and they expect me to give them food. “Dad,” they say, “I’d like to have this toy. Go buy it!” They think money is made on trees. They tell me to take that card thing of mine and swipe it, because they think that’s all I need to do. They haven’t learned yet about the adult world.
My sons are totally dependent on me for every single thing, and that’s how we are to God. We are His children, and we are totally dependent on Him for everything. That’s what Jesus was trying to teach the young man.
I don’t necessarily think God tells every rich man to go and give away all of his money and possessions. In fact, the ministry of God depends on people with money. You need money to push the Gospel. Without financial support, Bibles wouldn’t be printed, and missionaries wouldn’t survive. Ministries wouldn’t get built and people wouldn’t be served. Spreading the Gospel depends on donors with money.
But I do think Jesus challenges us by asking, “Hey, look, would you be able to be totally dependent on me?” That day in the Colorado bullpen, I think He told me, “You need to think about that, because you’re paid a lot of money.”
I truly believe it is God’s will to prosper you. But this story asks us an important question, and it’s one we have to think about. Are you that rich young man?
More on this next time. See you Tuesday.