And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master…
I. THE RICH MAN FEELS THE NEED OF SALVATION. "Money answereth all things," but only in a limited sphere after all. Riches bind as well as set free; close certain doors to the spirit, as well as open them to others. The poor man knows "straitness" of one kind, the wealthy man another. Could he but unite the advantages of wealth with freedom and joy of spirit!
II. SALVATION IS POSSIBLE TO THE RICH MAN. But the practical conditions may be different from those in other cases. It is some idea, some phantasy, a pride, or a dread, or a lust, that every man needs to expel from his mind in order to salvation. In some way the idea of his riches stood in the way of this man's bliss. But the way to salvation was pointed out to him. It weald be wrong to generalize the direction of the Savior. All that can be said is that there doubtless are cases where entire renunciation may be indispensable to salvation. The principle is: the false opinion of ourselves must be given up, and our being must be grounded on the truth, if we would "enter into life."
III. IT IS ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS IN THE WORLD TO RENOUNCE RICHES. How very rare are the cases where this is done! For money represents our root in earth. Let us, without affectation or hypocrisy, confess that it is so. Power, service, and estimation of others, a flattering self-representation, - this is what riches mean. To have grown into this circle of ideas, and to be asked suddenly to break them up, 'tis a wrench, like parting with life itself. But let us not exaggerate in any particular. Renunciation of any object with which the imagination in its dearest play is interwoven, is hard. It may be as hard for some to give up the retirement of a humble home for Christ's sake, as for others to renounce station and splendor. - J.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?