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Thursday: Jesus and the Essence of the Law — 7 Comments

  1. Was Jesus expecting the rich young man to give all of his possessions to the poor? I don't think so. He is not asking him to make himself impoverish to prove his love to God and man. Seemingly, the rich Christian had surplus, if he was helping the unfortunate, he was not doing enough. "To whom much is given, much is expected." Many of us are rich in the WORD and wisdom; we see the contrast in those whose lives are falling apart. I interacted with a woman who has been a drug addict since age 10, she is 52-years-old. Throughout my interaction I struggled to reach out to her, though she needed help. Repeatedly, I importuned God to give me the spirit of love. At this point, I sold my pride and stereotypical thoughts and I helped this poor lady. The rich young ruler's phenomenon is real. When we love God, he will empower us to keep his command through the principle of love.

  2. I like the way the old testament states that Christ is our salvation (Ps 62:2, 27, Isaiah 12:2) and Paul in 1 Cor 1:30 the LORD our righteousness.

    The rich young ruler wanted to know what he would 'DO' in order to 'have eternal life'. We know that we only have eternal life in Jesus Christ. So why does Christ ask the rich young ruler what the law says? The law is said to 'convert the soul' (ps 19:7-11), those who live according to it have their lives faultless (Ps 119:1), we learn from it righteous judgments (Ps 119:7) and several other verses one can quote.
    Deut 6:25 is more blatant for most people's comfort "And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us." Now, as Adventists, we do not preach dispensationalism (that God used a different standard in OT and a different one in the NT for justification and salvation of human beings). We believe that God's standard has been the same from the foundation of the world, and that standard is His commandments.
    So, how does the story of the rich young ruler, help us gain insight into the dealings of God in reconciling grace and the law? The LAW, the written code, is fulfilled in Christ! When we behold Christ, we exlaim with Peter, get away from me a sinner, and with Jeremiah and Isaiah - I am undone. Or like Daniel, our comeliness turns in our eyes to corruption! The law is still all those things mentioned in the OT, but it is LIVED OUT in Christ. Therefore by renouncing all earthly entanglements and following Christ, the rich young ruler would be beholding the fulfillment of the law, and thereby 'be perfect'. He would have invested his belongings in heaven by being heaven-led in his subsequent life of following Jesus Christ, had he accepted the offer from the LORD.
    I believe the LORD still has the same standard for us: have we renounced our worldly ways and 'earnings' and do we follow Jesus?

  3. It was a wonderful yet profound lesson that Jesus was teaching the rich young ruler. For he was rich in temporal things but poor in spiritual things even though he had kept the commandments all his life. The rich young ruler failed to recognize he could not effectively keep God's commandments without first loving God and in loving he would obey. The young man was rich in possessions, but absolutely bankrupt because the love of God was missing in trying to keep the letter of the law.
    We are all rich in the love the Father has bestowed on us and in loving us, He gave us the best gift of all in that Jesus died for our sins that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
    May God bless you all.

  4. I wonder if the kernel of truth or the moral of the story of the 'rich young ruler' is do whatever it is you have to do so you can "come follow me." Isn't that all God has wanted from the beginning?...His love and glory to be reflected in his creation of his likeness?

    "...in the image of God created he ...them;""...have no other gods before me;" "that they may all be one; as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me;" "...that the love where thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." NKJ Mt 19.21; Gen 1.27; Ex 20.3; Jn 17.21,26

  5. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
    In asking the young ruler to sell his goods he was reveling to him that he really had not loved his neighbour if he had not been doing anything for the poor.

  6. This world-loving man desired heaven; but he wanted to retain his wealth, and he renounced immortal life for the love of money and power. What a miserable exchange! Yet many who profess to be keeping all the commandments of God are doing the same thing today.

    Here is the danger of riches to the greedy covetous man; the more he gains the harder it is for him to be generous. To diminish his wealth is like parting with his life; and he turns from the attractions of the immortal reward, in order to retain and increase his earthly possessions. Had he kept the commandments, his worldly possessions would not have been so great. How could he, while plotting and striving for self, love God with all his heart, and with all his mind, and with all his strength, and his neighbor as himself? Had he distributed to the necessities of the poor as their wants demanded, he would have been far happier, and would have had greater heavenly treasure, and less of earth upon which to place his affections....

  7. If you love God you would be willing to give up all what you have just to gain Him.Is that too much?NO.Jesus gave up heaven and its glory and came down here,reduced Himself to our sinful level,gave up His life by dying like a robber on the rugged cross because of His love for us and ensure and assure eternal life for all that believe in Him.Seriously this can't be compared to simply selling what one has.Jesus didn't ask the young man to sell his life.The question is if you love Jesus,how far can you go in demonstrating that love.Are you able to be crucified upside down like Peter,put in boiling oil like John or stoned to death like stephen .The young ruler failed the test.Many of us have already failed Jesus.How far can you go in demonstrating your love for Jesus?


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