by Roger Thomas

A Matter of the Heart
Roger Thomas
Matthew 19:16-30
February 4, 2007

He had success written all over him. Maybe it was the cut of his clothes. Perhaps he carried himself with that certain air of importance. Whatever it was, he had it all. He probably was voted the most likely to succeed in his class. He would have been on everybody's Who's Who List. He had everything anybody could desire. But not everything he wanted. There lies the story.

Those working through the New Testament on the One Year Bible schedule read his story on Monday. Mark and Luke also record his meeting with Jesus. Each adds another layer of detail. All three tell us that he was rich. Matthew and Mark say he was young. Luke notes that he also held a prominent position in the community. He's not given a name. We commonly refer to him as the Rich Young Ruler.

He had money. We don't know he got it. He could have been the ancient version of one of those young high tech entrepreneurs who comes up with something that makes him a fortune before he's hardly old enough to shave. Maybe he invented a high-speed laptop sundial or new fuel-efficient chariot that got fifty miles to a bucket of oats.

More than likely, the Rich Young Ruler got his wealth the old fashion way. He inherited it. He might have been like the wealthy tycoon who was lecturing one of his young nephews about the benefits of hard work. "When I started this company, I didn't have two cents to rub together. I lived on beans and rice. I worked night and day for ten years trying to make a profit." He paused. "Then finally all your hard work paid off," the younger man interjected." "No. Then my father-in-law died and left me ten million dollars."

However, he acquired it he had it. He was wealthy. He was also young! He had his life ahead of him. We are not told how old he was. Given the standards of the day, most Bible scholars surmise that he was in his twenties or thirties. Eventually, th ...

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