July 2019   
Bible Search


Mark 10:17‑27

If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?

  • Feelings of dissatisfaction or emptiness are usually what motivate us to desire a change.
  • Perhaps we think better health, increased income, a different job, or a new relationship is the answer.
  • Or maybe we can't quite figure out what's causing these feelings, but we know that something is missing in our lives.
  • Changing our circumstances is a short‑lived solution because the empty place in our souls can only be filled by God.

Our love for material possessions can cause us to miss the most important thing in life. Money is good and useful in the right hands, but  it can never buy what we need most. To spend the days, months, and years of our lives in a quest for riches, possessions, and prominence will only leave us disappointed because one day we will have to lay it all down. There is more to life than this temporary earthly existence.

Mark 10:17‑27 tells about a man who knew something was missing in his life. He ran to Jesus, knelt down before Him, and asked, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" The young man had everything the world values—wealth, youth, possessions, position, and authority. There's nothing wrong with having any of these, but ultimately they cannot fully satisfy.

God made us for Himself—to have a relationship with Him through His Son.  This means He is the only one who can fill the empty places in our lives.  Accumulating more material goods and achieving greater success will never make us complete.  We should be grateful for whatever the Lord gives us, but our love is to be directed toward Him, not toward the things of this earthly life.

Our most important possession is eternal life. That's why the rich young ruler came to Jesus. He had all the earthy possessions and achievements he wanted, but He knew He needed one more thing—eternal life. The fact that he ran to Jesus shows his sense of desperation. Running in public was something men of dignity never did in those days.

Unlike this rich young man, multitudes of people today live in big houses in nice neighborhoods with an abundance of material goods, never realizing their need for eternal life. Others feel the emptiness, but attempt to fill it with the pleasures and pursuits of this world. And some people are running away from the Lord rather than to Him, denying their need for a Savior. They forget that death comes to all men and after that is the judgment.

The gift of eternal life is not the result of our good works. Although the young ruler knew he needed eternal life, he made the faulty assumption that he had to do something to earn it. Christ responded by reminding him of the commandments:


The man claimed that he had kept all these since his youth. However, Jesus didn't mention all the commandments. He omitted the first four, which speak about loving and worshipping God alone, and the last one, which forbids coveting. Because Jesus could see into his heart, He knew the young man's problem was his love of money. After declaring his obedience to the commandments, the man probably thought Jesus would tell him his good behavior would earn him eternal life. This is the same belief the majority of the world holds today. They think if they don't steal, lie, or cheat, and are a fairly good person, then they will one day go to heaven. Ephesians 2:8‑9 clearly states that we are not saved by good works but by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.

Instead of commending the young man for his good behavior, in Mark 10:24 Jesus pointed out the one thing he still lacked,

Go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.

Christ wasn't saying that giving away all earthly possessions is a requirement for eternal life. Rather, He was trying to help the young man see his sin of greed and recognize that his material wealth was standing between him and salvation. Christ was asking him to relinquish his idol, surrender his life, and follow Him. The young man's problem wasn't that he owned much, but that he was owned by much. The only way he would be able to follow Jesus was to lay down the riches which held him in their grip. Sadly, although he found the answer to eternal life, he turned it down. He gave up eternal life, which can never be lost, in order to hold onto that which he would never be able to keep. Although he ran to Jesus in hope, he walked away grieved, being deceived by his wealth.

Jesus loves us even when we make wrong choices. The rich young man rejected Christ's offer of salvation for three reasons:

  1. Unbelief  He couldn't accept what Jesus said or entrust his future into His hands.
  2. Self‑righteousness  He trusted in his own goodness as the means for God's acceptance.
  3. Love of the world. He would not let go of his wealth and possessions in order to follow Christ.

Jesus acknowledges that it is very difficult for the wealthy to enter Heaven. He compared it to a camel going through the eye of a needle. Riches give a false sense of security that hinders people from seeing their need for a Savior. But with God all things are possible, and Christ's shed blood provides the way for everyone who trusts in Him to be saved and receive eternal life.

Do you feel like something is missing in your life? If so, what do you think is causing this sense of emptiness? If you ran to Jesus with this need, what would He tell you to do? Are you willing to let go of whatever He says to relinquish? Is there anything that is causing you to resist following Christ fully? What kinds of things tend to own you rather than you owning them?


You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).

To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).

You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

      Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.

      Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.

      I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.

      Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.

                     In Your name I pray, Amen.