The Rich Young Ruler – Mark 10:17-31
How can wealth interfere with a person’s faith?
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
19 “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.'”
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
30 “who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time– houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions– and in the age to come, eternal life.
31 “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Food for Thought
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being wealthy?
2. Why do you think most people want to be rich?
3. What was the attitude of the wealthy man as he came to Jesus? (10:17)
4. What did the man want Jesus to explain to him? (10:17)
5. Why did Jesus say to the man, “No one is good, except God alone”? (10:18)
6. How did Jesus explain the way to inherit eternal life? (10:19-21)
7. How did the rich man respond to Jesus? (10:20)
8. What does the rich man’s answer to Jesus tell us about his spiritual state? (10:20)
9. What attitude did Jesus have toward the rich man? (10:21)
10. What was difficult about the instruction that Jesus gave the young man? (10:21-22)
11. In what way would selling all of his earthly possessions give the wealthy man “treasure in heaven”? (10:21)
12. Why could the man not obey Christ’s instructions? (10:22)
13. What did Jesus mean when he said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”? (10:24-25)
14. When the disciples were astonished and dismayed at Jesus’ words, how did he encourage them? (10:26-27)
15. How did Peter respond to this situation? (10:28)
16. With what promise did Jesus conclude his teaching in this passage? (10:29-31)
17. Why do you think Jesus demanded such a tall order from this man?
18. In what way can money stop us from doing what God wants?
19. How can wealth interfere with a person’s faith?
20. What have you ever forsaken for the sake of following Christ?
21. What interferes with your walk with the Lord?
22. How do you think God wants you to use the material wealth he has given you?
23. How can we prevent ourselves from allowing wealth to interfere with our faith?
24. What can you learn about Jesus from his actions in this story?
25. What can we learn through the negative example of the rich young man in this episode?
26. What makes it difficult for a rich person to be saved?
27. What makes it difficult for anyone, rich or poor, to enter the kingdom of God?
28. What can you give to the poor? How?
29. What practical steps can we take to insure that we place value on eternal things and not merely on material things?
30. What can you sell or give away in the near future to reflect a concern for God’s kingdom over things?
31. What is one distraction you can set aside from your routine this week to help you concentrate more on devotion to Christ?