Story 35: Rich Young Ruler

Story 35

Rich Young Ruler

Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30



The Bridge: Many people in this day, perhaps even like ours, believed that the more wealth and possessions one had, the more God must be blessing them. Jesus offers something far greater than earthly possessions.


The Story:

  • A rich young ruler once asked Jesus, “What must I do to have eternal life [be saved]?” Jesus replied, “You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER” (Luke 18:20).
  • The ruler replied, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” “When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:21-22).
  • The ruler turned away and left sadly because he was a man of much wealth, and he trusted in his money, not God. The disciples were astonished, asking [if this man can’t] “Who then can be saved?” (Matthew 19:25; Mark 10:26; Luke 18:26).
  • Jesus taught people that eternal life in heaven comes from being willing to trust Him by forsaking anything that would hinder one from following Him (Matthew 19:29; Luke. 18:29b-30).


How does the young ruler’s reluctance to sell his possessions relate to us?