Hope for the Rich Young Man

The Gospel Lesson of Luke 18:18-27 describes a rich, young man coming to talk to the Lord Jesus.

At that time, a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’

And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 

So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. 

And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

Fr. Lev Gillet comments:

 “There are those who refuse to follow Jesus; such was the young man who ‘became sorrowful, for he was very rich.’ What became of this young man?

We would like to think that later he came back to Jesus, giving everything. We are permitted to cling to such a hope by the very fact that when going away, he ‘became sorrowful.’ Not incensed or (not of)  bitter, but sorrowful.

Therefore he was repenting of it… Grief bears fertile seeds.

If I refuse, at least let me be sad about it!”

(A Monk of the Eastern Church, Jesus: A Dialogue With the Savior, p 59)