Hey jcrichton, it’s good to hear from you. I haven’t been on this channel in a while. I got your point on the Rich young Ruler. But wow… I think you totally missed the point in your interpretation.
The rich young ruler was schooled in the Jewish theology of his day. he believed that by keeping the Law he could be saved. He also believed that he had kept all of the Law since his youth. But perhaps he had doubts about the whole thing. I don’t know. But he ask a pivotal question, one that is rare for the synoptic gospels. Good teacher what must I DO, to have eternal life?
Before Jesus answers with a John 3:15 or 16, or a John 3:36, or a John 5:24 kind of answer, He seems to probe. Why do you call me good, only God is good?..
It is as if He was changing the subject, but actually He was setting the man up. Well… YOU KNOW THE COMMANDMENTS… GO AND DO THEM!
Let’s stop and analyze His approach. If keeping the Law of Moses was the means to obtaining eternal life, then Jesus’ point is clear, but confusing in light of the concept of a free gift and the many passages in John’s gospel where we are to only believe as the condition. But actually keeping the law is a way to eternal life, if one can actually keep it. By keeping it, of course, it means that you keep it 24/7 all the days of your life. Was that possible?.. the Ruler thought so. But actually it was impossible. Keeping the Law is impossible to keep every moment of your life. If you sin just one time, you become a law breaker needing mercy and grace. This ruler’s theology was flawed but he didn’t know it.
So why did Jesus go along with it by saying… go ahead and keep the law!
Because he was setting the man up, not to destroy the man, but to disarm his flawed theology.
When the man boasted that he had kept the law since his youth, Jesus said, okay… then let me add more weight on the cart!.. You still lack one thing, sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, and come follow Me."
Notice what Jesus did not say, He did not say and you will have eternal life… He never actually answered that specific question.
In other words, he was giving the man the benefit of the doubt, even though He knew this man clearly was lying.
Jesus used the power of the Law to hopefully help this man realize how eternal life cannot be earned at any level or by any means other that a holy sacrifice.
But he apparently didn’t learn that lesson on this day… he went away sorrowful. Why did he go away sorrowful? because he never had the revelation others had about Jesus. Jesus was good because Jesus was God. He knew why others called Him good, but He wanted to know why this man did so. The ruler called Jesus good because he thought He was a keeper of the Law. But the Law was for sinners and Jesus was no sinner.