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  1. Matthew ESV - The Rich Young Man - And behold, a man - Bible Gateway
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Selling them and giving the proceeds to the poor marks a good faith effort to do just that. When Jesus asks him to get right with the Law, the rich young man understands the context of the request, as do those who witness the exchange. Jesus knows that he has made a difficult request.

The Scripture says that he "looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him.

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First, he tries to make it easier on the man by promising a substitution: you will have treasure in heaven. He then offers membership in the messianic company: come, follow me.

The rich young man was in turmoil. He well understood how only compliance with the Law would cause Jesus to let him off the hook.

Matthew ESV - The Rich Young Man - And behold, a man - Bible Gateway

He could feel the love Jesus felt for him, yet he couldn't bring himself to give up the security of his riches. This Galilean prophet would not compromise his views on the Law. The rich young man made his decision.

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He sadly walked away. There was probably silence as he left. The encounter was quite dramatic. This prophet, who seemed to approach everyone with love, gave the rich young man very little wiggle room. The Law, including the economic Law, seemed very important to this teacher. In first century Palestine, the rich, of whom Jesus was speaking, were the privileged.

Again, in the Baal-inspired world, only through privilege could a person become rich. And the privileged, particularly the Jewish privileged, knew that their government-granted advantages were paid for by taking from the ordinary populace some of its economic freedom. Jesus said that this recognition made it virtually impossible for the Law-knowing privileged to merit an eternal reward with God.

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Indeed, he went on to say that it would be difficult for anyone to merit it, presumably because everyone broke the Law — all were and are sinners. Then, to drive the point home, he returned to the rich, whom he set apart as particularly grievous lawbreakers. He said it was almost impossible for them to favor reestablishing the kingdom.

The familiar eye of a needle comparison left little room. Once Jesus had made his point, he added that God could still ignore the cold demands of justice and, using mercy, save the rich as well as the poor. He sums up the lesson in verse "By human resources it is impossible, but not for God: because for God everything is possible.

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The world ran on the privilege system, the law of Baal. It seemed inescapable, yet Jesus would not make accommodation with it. Better to renounce all of its trappings than to compromise with it. Yet he did say that there was hope — individually, in God's mercy, and as a people, in God's Law. God's Law eliminated privilege. God's Law provided for everyone.

It had in the past and it would again — if only his people would reintroduce it. So the rich of Jesus' time were very different from the rich of today's western economies. Today's rich, by and large, have earned their riches, or are the progeny of those who have.

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There is no injustice in such accumulations. Kelly is a Financial Advisor for a major financial services company. He resides in Peoria, Illinois. This article is excerpted from his forthcoming book, The Other Law of Moses.


Out of the frying pan into the fire. Not quite alone in the wilderness. Terrorists or freedom fighters: What's the difference? The Principle of Subsidiarity. The Economics of Sin Taxes. How Christianity Created Capitalism. At that time my riches and possession had me and I had no life. These possessions had my life and had control of me. This lesson freed me from my possession and prepared me for the ministry. I went on to study in seminary and have served in the church since.

I am now a Christian life coach. Coach Cobbs Thank you so much for making this information available.

At the Edge of the Enclosure

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