Mark 10:17-27




In this passage we meet a man who needed advice.  And I’m glad to tell you that He came to the right person for this advice. This man consulted the Lord Jesus Christ. 


In Mark’s report about the “rich young ruler” we find a man who knew he lacked something and came to Jesus to find out what he was lacking.  Unfortunately, he did what so many of us do.  He got good advice and then didn’t follow it.




Here was a man who was an overachiever.

He ran to Jesus. With the help of the accounts of Matthew and Luke, we know that this man was:


1.     rich

2.     young and ambitious

3.     a man of authority, a ruler, perhaps in the synagogue

4.     respectful

5.     religious


Here was a man of determination.

He did not stand by and watch the world pass him by.

He was an active participant in all that interested him.


He runs to Jesus. He kneels before Him.

He asks a question.

“Good Master, What shall I DO that I may inherit eternal life?”


The man sensed a need.  He evidently was not sure that he would have eternal life when he died.

But he was a determined man.


He was determined to do whatever great work Jesus would require of him.  Perhaps it would be something using some of his great wealth.


The man was making a great mistake.

He thought he could do something to earn eternal life.


Unfortunately, there are thousands of people today who are no different.  They think that it is what they do that will get them into Heaven!  This is just not true.


Righteous people go to Heaven.  But nobody is righteous! Romans 3:10


It takes the work of God to make us righteous. Titus 3:5, Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-9  




Calling Jesus, or any other person “good” in the Jewish culture was almost unheard of.  This man was either flattering Jesus, or really on to something.


Jesus was being definitive as to who really is good.

It is only God who is good.

If this man was calling Jesus good, He was, in essence, calling Him God.


Why would Jesus want to clarify His deity with this man?

I think it is because of what Jesus was going to tell Him to do next.

For a man of such wealth, Jesus’ radical requirement for this man to sell what he had and give to the poor was going to shake Him up.


It would only be possible for this man to comply if He really understood that it was God in the flesh who was asking Him to do this!

 How we respond to the commands of Jesus will also be largely based on how we define Him!


If we see Jesus as God, then we are obligated to do as He tells us.  If we don’t see Jesus as God, but a common man like us, then we can argue that we are not obligated to obey Him.


Did Jesus claim to be God?


He most certainly did! John 8:57-59


In Mark 10:18 Jesus is giving a definitive word that He is God.


A DISCERNING WORD – Vss. 19-22   


The rich young ruler knew that he was lacking something.  He needed something more than he has in order to attain eternal life.


Jesus, in his interview with this man, gives the discerning word concerning the rich young ruler’s lack.


Vs. 19 – Jesus begins by telling the man to keep the Ten Commandments.  In this verse he cites the commandments that have to do with man treating man. 


Why did Jesus mention the commandments as a way of eternal life?


He wanted the man to see that he had broken those commandments.

In fact the Old Testament Law, including the Ten Commandments was given to show people that they have a need for a Savior! The commandments show us how sinful we really are! Galatians 3:22-24


Vs. 20 – I believe that the man was sincere, but blind.  He thought of himself as having kept the law.  He was sincere, but he was sincerely wrong.


Although he claimed to have kept the law, yet He was convicted in such a way that he knew that there was something missing in his life.


Matthew 19:20 - The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?


Perhaps you are like this rich young ruler.  You have tried to obey God’s laws. You have tried to do good works. You have tried to live a Godly life, and yet you realize that there is something missing!   


Vs. 21 – Jesus looked at this man, and saw deep within His

soul.  He loved the man.  I believe that the words Jesus spoke were spoken tenderly.  “Do you want eternal life? This is what you lack.”


Jesus told the man to sell all that he had and give to the poor.  That would give Him riches in Heaven.


Why did Jesus tell Him to do this?

He told him this because the man was breaking at least one of the commandments. Exodus 20:2-3


The man was putting his confidence in his wealth and not in God.  Money was His God.   


If he sold all that he had and followed Jesus, he would become helplessly dependent on Jesus! 

That is what faith is, being helplessly dependent!


Not everyone has to sell all that he has to become a Christian.  But we all need to forsake all other gods, and become helplessly dependent on Jesus in order to have eternal life. Galatians 3:11, John 3:36


Vs. 22 – I think that this man who ran to Jesus was sulking when he left Jesus. He had great possessions.  He was sad because the price Jesus said he had to pay was higher that he wanted to pay! Luke 9:24


Is there something that you love more than Jesus that’s keeping you from becoming helplessly dependent on Him for eternal life?  Forsake it, and put your trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life.


Is there something that you love more than Jesus that’s keeping you from becoming helplessly dependent on Him for living the Christian life? Forsake it, and put your trust in Christ for victory.




Vs. 23 – What Jesus said next discouraged the Apostles.


It is very difficult for people with riches to enter into the Kingdom of God. 


Vs. 24-25 - This statement was totally contrary to Jewish thought of that day.  The rich were considered privileged and destined for Heaven. Therefore the disciples were astonished at Jesus’ statement.


Jesus went on to say in verse 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.


This was a common expression of the day.  It was probably meant literally.  A camel could not possibly pass through the eye of a needle used for sewing!



Jesus was saying that rich men trust in and worship their riches instead of trusting in and worshipping God.  Very few rich people will make Heaven.


Vs. 26 – If the privileged rich were not going to make to Heaven, then who would?  The disciples wondered how anyone could make Heaven!


The disciples were discouraged.




A camel going through the eye of a needle was impossible with men but not with God.  God could pass a camel through a needle’s eye if He wanted to.


A rich man being saved is impossible with man.

Anyone being saved is impossible with man.

No man can save himself.

No man can save others.


A poor man is more likely to humble himself and become totally dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ than a rich man is. James 2:5, 1 Corinthians 1:26


God does the impossible to save every person who is saved. Ephesians 2:1-7


Salvation is the work of God!

The impossible task of saving a soul from hell and giving that person eternal life is possible with God.   


There was a consultation with a rich man.