Bible verses:
Luke 18:18 – 30, Luke 19: 1 – 10, Acts 2:44 – 45, Acts 4:32 – 35, Matthew 6:19 – 24

The Lesson of the Young Ruler
Let us consider the example of the young ruler in Luke 18. He was a man of good conduct, not a bad person before God. He had kept all the commandments and had shown respect to the Lord Jesus by calling Him a good teacher. And the Lord Jesus considered him quite precious, because to meet such a person was rare. Looking upon him, Jesus loved him.
However, the Lord set down one requirement. If anyone desires to serve Him, he must be perfect. Notice what the Lord said: “If you want to be perfect. . . . you still lack one thing” (Matt. 19:21; Lk. 18:22). In other words, the Lord wants those who follow Him to follow Him perfectly, not lacking in anything. People cannot follow God if they have solved 99% of their problems and only have 1% not solved. To follow God demands the whole being. It must be all or not at all.
Indeed, this young ruler had kept the commandments since he was child. He feared God. Yet he lacked one thing. He needed to sell all his property and distribute the money to the poor; then the way would be clear for him to come and follow the Lord.

Have you seen that no one can possibly follow the Lord if he does not sell all that he has? This serious demand must be clearly understood. According to the Bible, when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was a rich man. He came so near to the Lord and saw and heard clearly from the Lord yet he kept his sorrow because he chose to keep his riches. “For the love of money . . . have pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (I Tim. 6:10). Men may keep their wealth and riches but they cannot keep happiness and joy. As they make more and more money and riches, they also get more troubles and problems. In making more and more money, they gather more and more sorrows and problems. Here was a young man who kept his riches and possessions but was not able to follow the Lord. If money and riches are what you want in this world, then do not think about following the Lord. To run after money and riches is also to run after sorrows and troubles because wealth and sorrow always go together.
He who gives up his hunt for wealth is a happy man, whereas he who cannot imagine a life without money is a sad person. This statement is always true. Those who are greedy of material things live in sorrows. May the new believer seek happiness by laying aside all and following the Lord.

Having watched the young ruler go away sad, the Lord added a comment: “How hard it is for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God!” The question at first was: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Now it is related to the matter of entering into the kingdom of God. In connection with this, Peter then asks who can be saved? To be saved, to have eternal life, and to enter into the kingdom of God are all the same.
As it is impossible for a camel to enter through a needle’s eye, so is it equally impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. We Christians are all like camels, big or small camels, we are camels. So when Peter heard those words, he was scared and he said, “Then who can be saved?” Peter did not feel easy with this teaching. If eternal life is to be obtained by works and not by faith, if the rich must sell all before he can enter into the kingdom of God, who then can be saved? Who is able to sell first and then obtain eternal life? Who is able to make himself poor before he is saved?

The Lord Jesus answered with one sentence, and in this one sentence is the where the whole problem is. Let us too consider this word: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” It is quite clear that such a thing as leaving all to enter into the kingdom of God is not common in this world. The Lord agrees that this is not possible for man to do. What was wrong with the young ruler was not that he wasn’t able to sell all he had, but rather his going away sad. God knows it is impossible for men to sell all their things and give all to the poor. But when the young man went away sad, he simply meant that since it is impossible with men, it is also impossible with God. Of course it is wrong for me not to give up my all, but don’t you think the Lord knows all about it? Therefore the Lord says: what is impossible with men is possible with God. How can anyone get a camel through a needle’s eye? Impossible! Similarly, people on this earth all love wealth, riches and money and to ask them to sell all is to ask for the impossible. But if I go away with sorrow and I am sad, then I am really wrong, because I have limited the power of God to help me with this impossibility.

The young ruler could not give up all, but God can do it. In other words, the Lord was prepared to give grace to the young man if he had cried, “O Lord, I cannot give up my riches, but give me grace. What is impossible with me is possible with You my Lord. Enable me to do what I am unable to do. Lord, I am too attached to my money and riches, it is had for me to give it up and distribute it to the poor and then come and follow You, but You can make me to be what You want me to be.” The mistake he made was to not pray, ask, and believe. He should not have gone away sorrowful. Man’s failure is not because of his weakness, but because of his not accepting God’s strength. Man cannot do it, but why not let God deliver him? This is what the Lord emphasizes here. The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Our Lord wanted to prove to the young ruler what God can do, but he, instead, went away with thinking that the thing was impossible to him.
Let us therefore see that there is always a way for us. If we can gladly give up all, as Peter did, then we should thank God for that. If not we need to say Lord, “I cannot,” and He will help us to do it.


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