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In Luke 18, we see that the rich young ruler had obeyed all of the commandments, and yet he was stunningly unaware of the idols residing in his heart. Jesus plainly revealed his idols and told him to leave them behind. The ruler, blind to the idols, didn’t realize that he would have to give them up in order to follow Jesus. Jesus wanted him to be fully committed to following Him, but the idols of wealth and good deeds were hindering him.
The same blindness often plagues us today. Apart from the enlightening power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, we wander in blindness, unaware of the idols in our lives that obstruct our relationship with Jesus.
In our spiritual exercise today, let’s dive back into the interaction Jesus had with the rich young ruler. Read the account slowly and purposefully, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal fresh truth to you.
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'”
21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Questions & Reflections
- Why did Jesus ask the man to sell everything He had in order to follow Him?
- Why do you think the rich young ruler was blind to the idols in his heart? Are there any idols that you might be blind to in your own life?
- How do potential idols, such as money, get in the way of our relationship with God?
- How is Jesus speaking to you through His encounter with the rich young ruler?