Thursday, February 23, 2012

MrsDrPoe: The Rich Young Ruler, Part I

Welcome to Theology Thursday here on the blog!  As always, I invite you to open your Bibles with me as we look at a portion of God's Word.  For the next two weeks, we'll be looking at the story of the "rich young ruler" (Luke 18:18-30).

Many of us are familiar with this story (v 18-23); a young man comes to Jesus asking, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus answers with, "keeping the commands: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'"  To which the ruler answers that he has done all of these things "from [his] youth."  

Then comes the challenge.  Jesus says, "You still lack one thing.  Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."  The ruler goes away sad because he had many riches.  In verses 24 and 25 of the passage, Jesus tells us just how hard it is for people with riches to enter the kingdom of heaven- it's more difficult than fitting a camel through the eye of a sewing needle.

When we study this passage as Americans, we often look at it with relief, saying to ourselves, "I'm glad Jesus didn't ask me to sell everything I have!"  While it's true that the 'point' of Christianity isn't necessarily that Christians live in poverty, it's also true that we are to put our faith and trust in GOD and we are to purge our lives of anything that hindering us from fully serving Him.  In effect, Jesus has commanded the same of us if our riches are keeping us from the kingdom.

So how do we know if our riches are our personal stumbling block?  For starters, if you're extremely relieved thinking that the command to sell everything doesn't apply to you, your riches are probably a problem.  Ask yourself how you would feel if all your money and things were stolen, if all was lost, or if you gave all away.  Be honest with yourself- do you trust your savings account to help you through a rainy day or God?


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