Jesus and the rich young man
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- Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” he inquired.
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
- "Rabbi, what good thing can I do that I may live?" He (Jesus) said to him, "Man, fulfill the Law and the Prophets." He answered him, "I have done (so)." Jesus said, "Go, sell all that you have, and distribute to the poor; and come, follow me." But the rich man began to fidget (some copies read, 'began to scratch his head'), for it did not please him. And the Lord said to him, "How can you say, 'I have fulfilled the Law and the Prophets', when it is written in the Law: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself', and many of your brothers, sons of Abraham, are covered with filth, dying of hunger, and your house is full of many good things, none of which goes out to them?" And he (Jesus) turned and said to Simon his disciple, who was sitting by him, "Simon son of John, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."
- Gospel of the Nazarenes (as related to us from Origen in his Commentary on Matthew 19:16–30)
- The difference between ourselves and the rich young man is that he was not allowed to solace his regrets by saying: "Never mind what Jesus says, I can still hold on to my riches, but in a spirit of inner detachment. Despite my inadequacy I can take comfort in the thought that God has forgiven me my sins and can have fellowship with Christ in faith." But no, he went away sorrowful. Because he would not obey, he could not believe. In this the young man was quite honest. He went away from Jesus and indeed this honesty had more promise than any apparent communion with Jesus based on disobedience.