'The Rich Young Ruler' ( Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30)
I. His Seeking Spirit
A. He came running and kneeled (Mark 10:17)
B. He wanted to know the truth concerning eternal life (Matthew 19:16)
II. His Incomplete Understanding
A. He thought Jesus just a Good Master (Teacher) (Matthew 19:16)
B. He thought he could do a 'good thing' to inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:16)
C. He thought he kept the commandments (Matthew 19:20)
III. Jesus Attempting to Draw Him In
A. Points to his incomplete understanding (Matthew 19:17 'there is none good but One)
B. Gives him an impossible task (Matthew 19:17 'keep the commandments')
C. Jesus beholding him loved him (Mark 10:21)
D. The LOVE (added the sixth commandment) was The Lord's focus (Matthew 19:19 'love thy neighbor as thyself')
(the first five are from the original 10 Commandments)
E. Exposes the Rich Young Rulers real love: 'love of money(I Tim 6:9,10/deceitfulness of riches 6:22' (Matthew 19:21)
F. The Lord's LOVING invitation ('Come and follow Me'
IV. Rich Young Ruler's Response (Matthew 19:22)
A. But when the (rich) young (ruler) man heard (that saying: the logos-the whole concept) (Matthew 19:22)
B. He went away sorrowful (grieved Mark 10:22)
Although this Rich Young Ruler had incomplete understanding he was a sincere seeker and the Lord knowing his heart condition sought to draw him in with His great love, yes, He beheld Him with a longing gaze(Mk 10) seeing the futile attempts of the young man to satisfy the commandments without forsaking his riches. Jesus knew he could not keep the commandments to inherit eternal life, He was using this to draw him in. The Lord also added the sixth command which is not part of the original Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) even though the first five are found in the Decalogue. He added this command to LOVE his neighbor which is the fulfillment of all the other five mentioned (another impossible task without the Holy Spirit) using it to show that this LOVE was missing and was the key to unlocking/releasing the love he had for his riches 'great possessions'. But Jesus only used these 'impossible tasks' to uncover the young man's attachment to his wealth and the ! ! ! ! things which money can buy because neither sacrifice of possessions nor obedience to the commandments will give you eternal life. The young man had to deal with this inordinate love for his possessions before he could perceive the real Gospel which Jesus continued to invite him to partake of through His invitation to 'come and follow Me.'
The Difficulty for the Rich to Enter the Kingdom
I. Trusting in Riches (Mark 10:24)
II. Having Riches (Matthew 19:23)
III. Requires Special Miracle of God (Matthew 19:24-26)
Earthly and Eternal Rewards to the Ones Forsaking All (Matthew 19:27-30)
I. Peter's Spiritual Perception and Question (Matthew 19:27)
A. Understood the Lord's Command to the Rich Young Ruler to Forsake All
B. Asked for Definite Answer Concerning Reward
II. The Lord Jesus' Thorough Response
A. Only the Regenerate/Saved Will Receive Reward
B. Refers to Millennial Kingdom Literal Throne/LiteralOne Thousand Year Rule (Revelation 20)
C. Twelve Apostles will Judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel
D. Those Forsaking Temporal Treasures will Receive One Hundred Fold on Earth (Mark 10:30)
E. Those Forsaking Temporal Treasures will Inherit Eternal Life (Matthew 19:29)
F. But many that are first shall be last and the last shall be first. (Matthew 19:30)
This concluding saying spoken by the Lord on more than one occasion (Matthew 20:16; Luke 13:30) can have more than one meaning. Here it could refer to the Rich Young Ruler as he was first in his position as a ruler but in the hereafter will be last because he was unwilling to sacrifice temporal possessions to gain eternal possessions or as it seems here it is the transition verse into the parable providing an introduction to the parable.
Parable of the Householder and Laborers (Matthew 20:1-16)
Lessons from the Parable (Alfred Plummer: 'An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew)
1. A parable is always used to teach one main lesson and the details within the parable must not be forced to mean something other than to support the main lesson.
2. The main lesson of this parable is: God keeps His promises to those who serve Him, but He remains Master in His own world.
3. He is the sole Judge of what each servant should receive, no one receives less than He has promised, but many receive more; and in these uncovenanted awards ther is much that, in man's eyes, seems to be unfair. But God sees not as man seeth; and 'shall not the Judge of the earth do right?
4. There is no need to find a separate meaning for those who were called at the different hours of the day. An agreement was made with those who wer hired early; the others trusted in the householder's fairness.
5. At the time of payment only those with whom an agreement had been made and kept found fault. The others were well satisfied with receiving full pay. Therefore there are only two classes to consider:
1. Those who came early and grumbled 2. Those who came later and were satisfied
6. As to the householder's fairness there can be no question. He kept faith with those he made agreement with and he was the sole judge of what the work of the others was worth to him.
7. Time was precious and labor became increasingly valuable as the day went on. Fresh and vigorous workers would be specially valuable, but the best of those who came later could not claim more than a full day's wages, and the householder did not think it fair to pay less. It is quite possible that considerations as this may enter into the distribution of spiritual rewards.
8. God's service early gives no claim to more than He has promised.
9. It ill becomes a servant of His to question His justice.
10. All the laborers came as soon as they were called and of those who came last it is expressly stated that they had no previous opportunity of working.
(v.30) 'So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called but few chosen.'
This does not say that the last will be preferred before the last, but that one shall be treated as the other is treated. In the distribution of rewards no distinction will be made between first and last. The devoted servant in the twentieth century may equal the devoted servant in the first and the devoted servant of half a lifetime may equal the devoted servant of a whole lifetime.
Some say that the murmurers receive no rebuke or punishment for their attitude but there is punishment inflicted upon themselves by their own choice to murmur instead of enjoying what was promised them. They have lost the power of enjoying the blessing of God due to their faulty view of what God has given to others being unfair to them. The discontented are never happy, and jealousy is one of the worst of torments!!