The Rich Young Man

Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.—Mark, 10:21, 22.

The story of the rich young man frequently recurs to me when great riches are spoken of, and I have wondered whether he really was prevented from following the Master he sought so eagerly and humbly, by the love of riches, as many people seem to believe. He sought eternal life and inquired of Jesus what he might do to possess it. He had obeyed the law, and had fulfilled all the requirements of tradition as a faithful son of Israel from his youth up, yet he was not satisfied that this observance of law and form was sufficient to bring him into life eternal and blessed; his loving thought made him crave a more loving religion than that taught in the synagogue by the doctors, or teachers of the law, who spent long days disputing over questions of philosophy instead of helping the people to a true sense of the nature of God. Of this divine nature the works of Jesus had given him an idea which met his need, undoubtedly, for he came to the Master, running, and throwing himself at Jesus' feet proffered his request, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"

The Belief in a Human Mind
December 23, 1905

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