Luke 18:23
And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
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(23) He was very sorrowful.—St. Luke’s word stands half-way between St. Matthew’s “sorrowing” and St. Mark’s vivid “lowering” or “frowning.” (See Note on Mark 10:22.)

He was very rich.—St. Luke’s equivalent for he had great possessions. There is, perhaps, something suggestive, especially on the view which has been taken as to the identity of the young ruler, and the purport of the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, in the use of the very same adjective as had been employed in that parable.

18:18-30 Many have a great deal in them very commendable, yet perish for lack of some one thing; so this ruler could not bear Christ's terms, which would part between him and his estate. Many who are loth to leave Christ, yet do leave him. After a long struggle between their convictions and their corruptions, their corruptions carry the day. They are very sorry that they cannot serve both; but if one must be quitted, it shall be their God, not their wordly gain. Their boasted obedience will be found mere outside show; the love of the world in some form or other lies at the root. Men are apt to speak too much of what they have left and lost, of what they have done and suffered for Christ, as Peter did. But we should rather be ashamed that there has been any regret or difficulty in doing it.See the notes at Matthew 19:13-30. 23-25. was very sorrowful—Matthew (Mt 19:22) more fully, "went away sorrowful"; Mark still more, "was sad" or "sullen" at that saying, and "went away grieved." Sorry he was, very sorry, to part with Christ; but to part with his riches would have cost him a pang more. When Riches or Heaven, on Christ's terms, were the alternative, the result showed to which side the balance inclined. Thus was he shown to lack the one all-comprehensive requirement of the law—the absolute subjection of the heart to God, and this want vitiated all his other obediences. See Poole on "Luke 18:18"

And when he heard this,.... That one thing was wanting, and what that was, which was to part with all his worldly substance, and follow Christ;

he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich; See Gill on Matthew 19:22.

And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
Luke 18:23. πλούσιος σφόδρα, very rich. Lk.’s expression differs from that of Mt. and Mk. ((ἦν ἔχων κτήματα πολλά). Lk. follows Mk. in the most important points—the words first spoken by the ruler to Jesus: good Master, etc., and the reply of Jesus to him: why callest thou me good? but he agrees with Mt. in omitting some vivid traits found in Mk.: the placing of the incident (“going forth into the way”), the action of the man as he approached Jesus (προσδραμὼν, γονυπετήσας), the title διδάσκαλε (Mark 10:20), and, most remarkable feature of all, the statement in Mark 10:21 : ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτόν, which so clearly excludes the notion entertained by many that the man was a self-complacent Pharisee. I am glad to find Hahn decidedly repudiating this view (vide notes on Mt. and Mk.). Vide Mt.

23. he was very sorrowful] St Matthew says, ‘he went away grieving;’ St Mark adds that ‘his brow grew gloomy and cloudy at the command’ (στυγνάσας ἐπὶ τῷ λόγῳ). And thus at the time he made, through cowardice or meanness of mind, what Dante (Inf. Luke 10:27) calls ‘il gran rifiuto,’ ‘the great refusal,’ and the poet sees his shade among the whirling throng of the useless and the facing-both-ways on the confines of the Inferno. Nothing, however, forbids us to hope that the words of Jesus who ‘loved him’ sank into his soul, and brought him to a humbler and holier frame of mind. But meanwhile he lost for his earthly dross that eternal blessedness of self-sacrifice which Christ had offered him. The day came when Saul of Tarsus was like this youth ‘touching the righteousness which is in the law blameless;’ but he had grace to count all things but loss for Christ. Php 3:6-9.

[23. Περίλυπος ἐγένετο, he was much saddened [very sorrowful]) The rich Zaccheus obtained what was much better in his joy (i.e. by his joyfully receiving Christ, than the rich ruler did by going away from Him in sorrow), ch. Luke 19:6.—V. g.]

Verse 23. - And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. St. Mark adds (a memory of Peter's) that when he heard this the ruler went away frowning, with a lowering look. This was too much. He could not, even at the bidding of that loved Teacher, give up the pleasant life he loved so well, the things he prized so highly; so silently and sadly he turned away. The 'Gospel of the Hebrews,' a very ancient document, dating from the first days of the faith, a few fragments only of which have come down to us in quotations in the Fathers, thus describes the scene: "Then the rich man began to scratch his head, for that was not to his mind. And the Lord said to him, How then canst thou say, I have kept the Law; for it is written in the Law, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; and, lo! many of thy brethren, children of Abraham, live in the gutter, and die of hunger, while thy table is loaded with good things, and nothing is sent out to them?" (quoted by Origen, in Matthew 19.). Dante calls this "The Great Refusal," and represents the shade of the young ruler among the throng of the useless, of those who faced both ways (' Inferno,' 10:27). It is worthy of notice that there was no angry retort from the wealthy ruler, no scornful, cynical smile of derision, as we read of among the covetous, wealthy Pharisees (Luke 16:14). Still, in the heart of this seeker after the true wisdom there was a sore conflict. Grieving, sorrow-stricken, with gloomy looks, he turned away in silence. Luke 18:23He was very sorrowful

Rev., more correctly renders ἐγενήθη, he became. See on Mark 10:22.

Very rich.

The Greek order forms a climax: "rich exceedingly"

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