We are One in Christ with our finances. God spends more words on the topic of financial stewardship than he does on justification. That doesn’t mean justification is less important, but it does mean we can’t ignore our pocket book.
Let me take you back over the story of the young man in our text. We don’t have his name, we know that he was wealthy, that he was loved by the people, and apparently, he had some authority. He seems like a great guy on the surface, but his problems are deep down. He doesn’t know who Jesus is. He doesn’t know who he is. He thinks he knows how to reach God or eternal life, but he’s not sure.
Look back over verses 17 and 18 once more. The young man was trying to
pay Jesus a compliment because he truly believed he and Jesus were cut from the same cloth. Jesus isn’t interested in admiration – Jesus isn’t worthy of an Oscar or a Nobel Peace Prize. Jesus doesn’t want your admiration; he wants your adoration. Instead of Good Teacher, the young man should have fallen on his knees and said, “My Lord and my God.”
So the young man asks the question that we hope everyone gets to at some point in life. It involves heaven. What happens to me after I die? How did this man think he could make it to heaven? He was working the system, wasn’t he? Keep the commandments; keep God happy. I think he truly believed that he was worshiping God with what he thought was a perfect life. But he realized in the middle of the night that something wasn’t right. Was God happy?
No, I’m afraid God was not happy. How could a perfect, holy God be happy with sin? Apart from Jesus, is God happy with any of our lives? God makes it plain that we can’t work the system. Jesus tried to help the man see this, “What about those commandments.” This young man wouldn’t have any of it. All these I have kept since I was a boy. The prophet Isaiah had written, There is no one righteous, not even one; We can’t work our way to God, neither could this young man, but he was convinced that he was the exception.
Want to hear more? Including how our Lord Jesus called this arrogant Rich Young Ruler to repentance? Watch this week’s message taken from Mark 10. It is the final message from our series, One in Christ – Finances.