The story of the Rich Young Ruler
For many of us, the story of the Rich Young Ruler is probably not one of our favorite passages of Scripture. And this is true for several reasons. First of all, most of us do not believe this passage applies to us because most of us do not think of ourselves as “rich.” When we think of rich we think of the wife of a prominent country singer who complained that she wasn’t able to find a decent house with a swimming pool and a tennis court on the meager 10 million dollar budget she was given. Or we might think about the rich man who got so angry with a hotel manager that he bought the hotel so he could fire the manager. Most of us are not that rich. But compared to most of the world’s population, we are rich.
The second reason this passage may not be one of our favorites is because we don’t like to be preached to about money. Well guess what. As much as the average person dislikes being preached to about money…double that…no triple that, and that’s how much most preachers dislike preaching about money. However, it is an important part of our Christian discipleship and we need to be reminded about it from time to time.
Another reason this story may not be one of our favorites is that some of us may be having a difficult time with the current economic situation. And to be frank with you, it costs a lot of money to live these days. As Yogi Berra used to say, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
Yet still, we need to confront the fact that Jesus warned us time and time again about the dangers of materialism. One of the greatest dangers of materialism is that our society has a tendency to over-value things but under-value people. We are so caught up in preserving our wealth that we ignore the needs of our church and the people around us. We are like Lazarus who stepped over the beggar at his door each day as he lived the good life.
Jesus said, “What does it profit a person if they gain the whole world but lose their soul.” He also indicated that we should be more concerned with “storing our treasures in heaven than storing them on earth.” We do this by giving our time, energy and money to the cause of Christ’s kingdom. The story of the Rich Young Ruler and many others that Jesus told prompts us to ask ourselves, what is most important—our material wealth or our heavenly treasures? It is a very important issue as we try to live our Christian lives with our priorities in order.
Tim Hobbs, Pastor
Join us this Sunday for Bible Study at 9;45 and Worship at 10:45. Our topic is “The Power of Giving”. We hope to see you!