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That’s a good question.  To get the meaning of that verse, let’s read Mark 10:17-22, “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”  This is what is commonly known as the story of the rich young ruler.  This account is given in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  Mark 10:22 tells us this man was rich; Matthew 19:22 tells us this man was young; and Luke 18:18 tells us this man was a ruler.

There are so many lessons for us in the portion.  First, this rich young ruler obviously believed it was possible to have eternal life and he desired it for himself.  Upon approaching the Lord, he called Him “Good Master” and was reproved for addressing the Lord in that manner.  Is not Jesus God?  Is He not good?  Yes, to both of those questions.  Yes He is.  It seems this young man was trying to flatter the Lord by addressing Him as a Good Master, or teacher, but he had no idea of the true person of the Lord Jesus.  He seemed to have no concept that he was speaking to God in the flesh.  He seemed to have no concept that men are not good, only God is good.  The scriptures are very clear that man is sinful and not good.  King David wrote in Psalms 14:3, “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  Micah wrote in Micah 7:2, “The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men…”  The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:12, “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  None good; not you, not me, not this rich young ruler.

Of course, this young man considered himself good.  The Lord reminded him of God’s commandments.  In reading Exodus 20:1-17, we see that there were Ten Commandments given to the Lord’s people.  The first four of these pertain to our relationship with the Lord; the last six pertain to our relationship with others.  The commandments the Lord Jesus repeated to the young man dealt with his relationship with others.  The young man said that he had kept these commandments all his life.  We then are told of the Lord’s feelings for this man, and then the Lord made a strange remark to him.  Mark 10:21 says, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”  The Lord loved this man; even as he loves you and me.  Our backgrounds, our false claims, our actions do not hinder the Lord’s love to us.  He loves us each one and desires that we all be saved.  But can we be saved by keeping the law as the Lord told this man to do?  Galatians 3:11 tells us that, “…no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”  From this and many other scriptures we know that no one can be justified by trying to keep the law.

What did the Lord mean by his remark?  Simply this: this rich young ruler said that he had kept the commandments concerning his dealings with other.  At one time, in speaking to a scribe, the Lord abridged the Ten Commandments into two.  We read in Mark 12:29-31, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”  So…did this rich young ruler really love his neighbor as much as he loved himself?  If so, let him sell all he had and divide it with them, showing that he did indeed love others as the commandments required.  The Lord, in His words to him, exposed his heart.  The man was very wealthy and was not willing to share his wealth with others.  This should have convinced him that he was guilty of breaking God’s law and was in need of forgiveness.  He should have recognized that he needed a savior.  He needed the Lord.  Instead, this man walked away sad as we read in Mark 10:22, “And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”  He was sad.  He believed in eternal life.  He wanted to have eternal life.  But for this man who placed great value on the riches of this world, he thought the cost to gain eternal life was too high.  He walked away sad.  The Lord, too, was sad because He loved this man and wanted him to follow Him.

What about you?  Will you walk away from the offer of the free gift of salvation because you think you might have to give up a life of worldly pleasures?  May the Lord give you wisdom to realize that there is nothing in this world that can be compared to the riches in glory awaiting all those who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Consider this important question the Lord asked in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”