Luke 18:18–30 (ESV)
The Rich Ruler
a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do
not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute
to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible
with man is possible with God.” 28 And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the
sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
This is a great parable, yet people often miss the point in the interpretation.
Let’s break it down and... don’t over analyze it.
Question: A Rich Ruler asked Jesus: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?
Jesus says to
do not commit adultery (6th Commandment), Do not murder (5th Commandment), Do not steal (7th Commandment), Do not bear false witness (8th Commandment), and Honor your father and mother (4th Commandment). These commandments focus on how to treat
your neighbor. The rich ruler says he has kept these. Then Jesus tells him “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Most people think this parable is about selling everything and giving to the poor. This is not what this parable is about. Jesus is teaching the rich ruler a more important question. That question is “Who is your God?”
He is demonstrating that the rich ruler’s god is Money and not God. He falls short on commandment 1: Thou shall have no other God. To inherit eternal life, God must be the highest priority in your life. To the rich ruler... it
was money/possessions. It is impossible for man to get into heaven without God. Only through faith in God can you enter heaven. You cannot buy your way into heaven.
I pray: O Lord,
help me to not get caught up in money or possessions, but to trust in you to provide all I need. Let my faith cling to you instead of wealth and to know that all I have is because of your provisions. Help me to be content with what I have and to
walk according to your ways. Amen.