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The Rich Young Ruler

February 18

The Rich Young Ruler

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, ‘One thing thou lackest…’” —Mark 10:21

Read Mark 10:17-27

The young ruler who sought the Lord Jesus’ advice was a pathetic young man. We should feel sorry for him. He was so far along the way in becoming a follower of Christ and yet not far enough. He made himself vulnerable by making a sincere request. The Lord Jesus sympathized with this young man, and we read that He “loved him.”

In this respect we can learn something from this ruler. Are we ready to publicly confess the Lord Jesus? Do we ask Him such searching questions? The Lord is willing to hear us; He loves to be asked about eternal things. But then you must also know what to ask and be ready to listen carefully for an answer. The young man asked, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” We know what the answer is: we can do nothing to merit salvation, it is all of grace. In His answer, the Lord Jesus shows us how wise a teacher He actually is. He complies with the question in order to make the young ruler realize that he is unable to inherit eternal life. This was meant to reveal to him his need of God’s grace.

The Lord Jesus places before him the commandments of God. You hear them every Sunday too, but do you keep them? The young ruler felt that he had: “All these have I observed from my youth.” That’s not a small thing! This young man had lived a very conscientious life. One could not point one finger of blame at him! But this obedience was not enough. And so the Lord goes a step further: “Sell whatsoever thou hast,…take up the cross, and follow me.” This was asking too much. Must he lose everything and then have to take up a cross? He was not inclined to do that. His goods were worth more to him than the Lord Jesus. What a momentous lesson this young ruler had to learn!

Would you be able to leave all your possessions behind for the service of the Lord?

This devotional was taken from “The Time of Your Life” a daily devotional published by the Youth & Educational Committee of the FRC. To order a printed copy of this book, contact:


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