Three Gospels report an incident in which a young man approaches Jesus and asks specifically how he could inherit eternal life. Jesus’ response is a bit confusing and makes it difficult – not impossible – to achieve a clear interpretation. Because of the confusion this passage is often ignored or misrepresented.
This post is an attempt to bring sense to an otherwise perplexing situation.
The young man, who happened to be of the ruling class and therefore wealthy, approaches Jesus (Mark says he ran to Jesus and knelt) asking how he might inherit eternal life.
It’s a good question. We have to give him high marks just for asking.
The interesting thing is, Jesus did not convulsively respond with the standard “confess your sinfulness and trust in me” answer.
Instead, in this situation, He attempted to explore the heart of this young man and in the conversation that followed, Jesus said three things that cause us to raise our eyebrows:
- One, He asked “why do you call me good,” making the point that only God was good, seemingly insinuating that He was neither good nor God.
- Two, He told the man eternal life could be entered by keeping the commandments.
- Three, He directed the man to sell everything he owned and give the proceeds to the poor.
Obviously, these remarks don’t gel with our understanding of truth. They really make us wonder: [Read more…] about Did The Rich Young Ruler Miss Heaven?