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The Rich Young Man is a story about a young man who is attempting to reach the kingdom of God. The young man asks Jesus what he needs to do in order to gain eternal life. Jesus simply tells him to follow the Commandments. They are you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not defraud and honor your father and your mother. The young man, being a virtuous man, states he in fact has followed these laws since he was young. In that Jesus turns to the young man and tells him that there is one thing he is missing in order to gain eternal happiness.
Jesus tells him that he must give away all his worldly possessions to the poor and follow him. With this the young man grows sad because he is very rich and has much to give up. With this Jesus turns to his disciples and says, How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! He then continues and states, It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
At the end of the passage Jesus says something very important which is restated many times throughout the gospels. He says, But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first. In the gospel story according to Mark, the rich man calls Jesus good teacher. Jesus responds to this reference by asking the man why he refers to him as good because in fact only God is good. There is a similar passage located in the book of Matthew 19, 16 - 17.
In it the same rich man asks Jesus what good he must do in order to gain eternal life. Jesus tells him, Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. Both passages show that God is the only one who is good. It is not capable for humans to achieve salvation but it is up to the goodness of God to present us with the gift of everlasting life. Without the goodness of God everlasting life would be impossible.
In Marks passage it is Jesus who is referred to as being good. However, in Matthews passage it is the young man who is seeking goodness. In the passage Jesus makes reference to certain commandments. These commandments can be found in the book of Exodus 21, 12 - 16. The commandments, which God gave to Moses, were the rules that we should use to live our lives correctly. Jesus however tells us in this story that it is not good enough to just obey Gods commandments.
We also should give all we have to those who have nothing if we desire to achieve everlasting life. In Deuteronomy 6, 16 we are told, Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord, your God, has commanded you, that you may have a long life and prosperity in the land which the Lord, your God is giving you. Here we are told that if we honor our parents we will enjoy a long life in the land God gave us. This is heaven. The land given to us by God is the land of everlasting life. This verse emphasizes the fact that respecting our parents is part of what we need to do in order to gain everlasting life.
After Jesus tells the young rich man to give all of his belongings to the poor and come follow him the man looks sad and goes away. Jesus then turned to his amazed disciples and said, How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! They are extremely surprised because this statement can be seen as contradictory. In the certain passages in the Old Testament money and material goods are considered a gift from God.
Psalm 128 is called The Happy Home of the Just and it discusses how those who walk in the way of the Lord will prosper and be happy. They will be granted such things as large families and a long life. Why in this psalm are those who are just granted wealth and luxury? Jesus tells the young, rich man he must rid himself of all those things. Jesus wants us to understand that if we have wealth and power that we are not granted an invitation to eternal life. We need more that the blessings of God to get to heaven.
If we will still follow the commandments when our luck is not so good and our future is not so secure than we are truly worthy of eternal life. There is a similar passage in Proverbs 11, 28 that states, He who trusts in his riches will fall but like green leaves the just flourish. This means those who rely on their riches to get them to heaven are sorely mistaken. Those who are just and fair will be granted everlasting life. To sum up the passage Jesus tells his disciples that, But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.
This simply means that those who suffer in this world will be rewarded in the next. Those who enjoy luxuries in this life will most likely suffer in the afterlife. Just because you come first here on earth you will not necessarily come first in the kingdom of God. We see the exact passage in Matthew 19, 30 and a very similar one in Luke 13, 30. In Luke Jesus says, For behold some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last. It states the same exact thing in both Marks and Matthews passages.
The Full Revelation of the Mystery is the title of the section that my passage falls in. It is significant because the mystery is God. God himself, his expectations and his demands are revealed in this section. This knowledge is acquired through stories, miracles and predictions. Here, the disciples and those who follow Jesus become certain that he is in fact the Son of God. We learn what it takes to be received into Gods kingdom.
Jesus cures a mans blindness and even predicts his condemnation and murder upon his arrival in Jerusalem. He also predicts his resurrection three days later. All of these events occur in this section of Marks gospel. During this time period in Matthews gospel we encounter more parables then we do in Marks gospel. We find some parables that Mark doesnt even mention. However, the main stories are included in both using most of the same words.
Lukes words are much like both Marks and Matthews. He uses most of the same stories in basically the same order. However, Johns gospel is very unlike the other three gospels in both content and order. In fact, nowhere in Johns gospel is there a mention of the story of The Rich Young Man. There is historical proof that Marks gospel was possibly written near Syria, around the year 70 A. D. (68).
Marks audience was most likely Gentile and was not familiar with Jewish customs (67). This explains why at certain times Jewish customs are explained in the footnotes. There were also stories about staying faithful through persecution. These were written to encourage the early Christians to stay faithful to Christ in spite of the adversities they faced (67). This passage is not used in the current Sunday Lectionary of the Catholic Church. This is strange because all the passages before and after in that chapter seem to be.
I believe that this deleted passage contained a very important message for the people to hear. Often people say, Money can buy you everything or Money cant buy you happiness. I believe that after reading this passage it can be said, Money cant buy eternal life.
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Research essay sample on Critical Analysis Of The Rich Young Man