“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’ ” Mark 10:17
We call the questioner, in today’s focus text, the rich young ruler. We know he was rich because verse twenty-two says he had great possessions. We know he was young because Matthew, in his gospel, calls him a young man. And we know he was a ruler because Luke, in his gospel, says he was a ruler. Sometimes you have to look in more than one place to get all the information available.
But as cool as it is that scripture remembers who the questioner was; the question he asks is far more significant.
“Good teacher…” What’s your opinion of Jesus? Whether or not we ask people for the answers we need has a great deal to do with our opinion of them. Could it be that the reason we so often fail to bring our questions to Jesus is because there is a flaw in our belief in him? Faith in God grows out of our knowledge of God. The relationship we have with him. We need to take the time to really grow in our knowledge and confidence in God.
“..What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” How many of us truly make plans for the future. Sure we plan for how to live our lives: our education, our careers, our family, our retirement, our estates and final arrangements. But these concerns are short sighted compared to eternity. They’re a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to what we’ll do in heaven.
I’m not suggesting that the practical concerns of life aren’t worth spending our time thinking about. King Solomon, in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, gives us plenty of advice pertaining to the importance of wisely planning and living our lives here in earth. What I’m saying is that if part of that planning doesn’t include making plans for getting to heaven and having an eternal relationship with Jesus our plans are incomplete and shortsighted.
The Rich Young Ruler was making plans for eternity and he was asking the right questions of the right person. We can’t do any better at this stage in our searching than that. Tomorrow we’ll think about what’s needed to benefit from the answers we receive.