Monday, Oct. 10
There are problems in the account of the rich young ruler. Why didn’t Jesus contest his claim of living according to the Law? It is impossible to fully obey the Law. When the Pharisees came to Jesus about the Law, he quoted O.T. verses that had to do with loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, which no one can do. But Jesus didn’t use those verses with this man. Instead, He got to the one thing that was more precious to him than serving God, his riches. A related question is whether or not riches is inherently evil. Possessing riches is never condemned in the Bible, but the danger of riches is consistently addressed. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) were punished for deceit, not for having money. Riches is not the problem; it’s putting riches ahead of serving God. The rich young ruler’s question was answered and he understood it, but it didn’t keep him from rejecting it. But riches is not the only problem; there are other things that can replace God as Lord of our lives—a person, a career, or something else. The issue is who is in control. Jesus is not Lord if He is not in full control. When self is on top, it’s idolatry. We don’t like being called idolaters, but that’s what it is when God is in second place.