The Rich Young Ruler

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 10:17-22

I winced when I heard a seminarian say in his sermon, “Go, sell what you have, and give it to the poor.” Jesus’ command to the rich young ruler is not a general rule for everyone. The commandment is a prescription for a person with a particular need. The Great Physician did not prescribe the same pill for every patient. Jesus didn’t tell Zacchaeus to “Go . . . sell . . . give.” He didn’t say that to Nicodemus, or Levi.

Jesus saw in the rich young ruler a potential for discipleship that was being stifled by a love of wealth, so he said, in effect, “If your wealth causes you to sin, cut it off. Go . . . sell . . . give.”

Does Christ’s command speak to you? Do you possess wealth, or does your wealth possess you? Money isn’t bad. But it can make you bad. It can cause you to become greedy and selfish.

A young man filled with potential and promise goes away sorrowful from Jesus. Possessing wealth and power, he’s still empty on the inside. If we are not genuinely committed to Christ, all our abundance won’t ever satisfy us. Whatever it is that has come between you and Christ, get rid of it. And then you won’t have to go sorrowfully away from Jesus.


Father, help me to remove whatever it is that has come between you and me. Amen.