12 September 2007

Luke 18:18-30

"A certain ruler asked Jesus, 'Good teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?' Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: "You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother"'. He replied, 'I have kept all these since my youth.' When Jesus heard this, he said to him, 'There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.' But when he heard this, he became very sad; for he was very rich". (v.18-23)


Addressing Jesus as 'good teacher' was unparalleled by a Jew and within Jewish literature for only the law is good. Jesus therefore replies by driving the young man back to the law. It is indisputable that this rich man was a good man but that he felt that something was lacking in his life, there was an emptiness within his heart and soul that no amount of riches could fill.

Whilst Jesus recognises the goodness of the man, he does not question the man's assertion that he has faithfully upheld the law throughout his life, he does however, see the root of the problem - his wealth. Only by ridding himself of the burden of wealth and following Jesus can the man find peace within. This is too great a cost for him. He desires earthly comfort and power above heavenly riches found by following Jesus.

To Ponder

Are there stumbling blocks that are preventing you from truly finding peace within?

What is Jesus calling you to 'give up' that you might discover all the riches of heaven?

Bible notes author

Revd Eden Fletcher

The Revd Eden Fletcher is the Superintendent Minister for the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (Brunswick Central) Circuit, having previously served as Chaplain to Kent College, Canterbury, a Methodist school and minister at Westminster Central Hall, London. Eden is committed to city centre ministry believing that the Church has a key role in promoting strong community in the heart of city and promoting Christian values in a commercial/retail context.