We are now ready to pick up on our Lord’s conversation with the rich young ruler in Mark 10:18-22. Continue reading . . .
We are now ready to pick up on our Lord’s conversation with the rich young ruler in Mark 10:18-22. Let’s look again at the text.
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Mark 10:18-22).
Jesus directs his attention to the Law hoping that it will do its job of exposing him to his moral failures and his desperate need for grace and mercy. This man had little or no grasp of his having offended an infinitely good and holy God. He had a superficial view of the Law, perhaps not unlike the Pharisees of the day. Thus, the 10 Commandments are the answer to this man’s question, not because by keeping them he can gain eternal life, but because if he honestly looks at how poorly he has kept them, at how far his heart is from the true intent of the law, he will be confronted with his own spiritual bankruptcy and fall on his face to receive the kingdom as a gift, just like a little child.
Jesus uses the Law to awaken in him his utter helplessness, his powerlessness, his “good-less-ness”! Thus, he had approached Jesus believing that eternal life is to be gained on the basis of doing, so Jesus addresses him on that