Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Matthew 19:16-21 Rich Young Man

Matthew 19:16-21 –Rich Young Man
And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which?"
And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

Jesus responded to the rich young man with many commandments. Which one’s are missing?
The first three commandments about loving God alone, keeping the Sabbath and not taking the Lord’s name in vain.
In other words, all of the commandments relating to God.
Jesus doesn’t mention any of those. He only mentions those relating to ‘neighbour’.

In fact, the Jews have a tradition in that of the two tablets Moses brought down the mountain, the first tablet had the first three commandments about our relationship with God and the second tablet had the remaining seven about love of neighbour.

It seems rather odd! It seems like Jesus is leaving God out of the picture.

The man responded to Jesus by saying “All these I have observed; what do I still lack?"
The man has observed the love of neighbour commands.
What does he lack?
The love of God.
It is the first tablet that he lacks.

How does Jesus respond?
“Go, sell what you possess and give to the poor … and come, follow me”
Give up all of your possessions so you are free to follow me totally.
He is saying that by following Him is the same as loving God.
He lacks the love of God, so Jesus is saying you can love God by giving everything up and following Me.

Jesus says there is one thing you lack – the love of God – so He says Follow Me!
In other words, don’t you get it? I am God!
Follow me and you will fulfil love of God as you have love of neighbour.

Source: The Gospel of Saint Matthew Bible Study – by Prof Tim Gray

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