People love to have wealth, because wealth provides better service and many favourable benefits. The rich young man in today's reading reveals the truth about wealth. The man had feasted with influential people in his wealthy social circle. Many of them had social status, and yet none of them could satisfy the need of his inner life. The man approached Jesus to reveal his inner life. Jesus was special to him, because he believed Jesus was superior to others in his circle of friends. Wealth provided for his physical needs, but not those of his heart. His heart was hungry. He came to Jesus seeking help to satisfy his longing. He knelt before Jesus, addressing Him 'Good Master'. Judging from the way in which the man approached Jesus, we believe the man showed great respect for Jesus. He knelt before Him, and addressed Him not as an ordinary master, but 'Good Master'. Jesus challenged the man, saying:
'No one is good but God alone'.v.18
Jesus told the man, not human beings, but God alone is Good. When the man addressed Jesus, 'Good Master', he believed, Who Jesus was for him- God- or a special person. There was no clarification at this point.
As the conversation went on, the man further opened his inner life. He confessed that he was faithful to keep God's commandments from his childhood. Jesus told the man, God's way was about doing rather than simply keeping the commandments. Reciting the commandments would not fulfil the law of love, but living them out made the law of love perfect. To make it clearer, Jesus told the man to do several actions, namely: going and selling, giving it to the poor, returning, and finally following. Hearing this the man felt upset, and left Jesus, because 'he was a man of great wealth'. v.22
The man addressed Jesus 'Good Master', and yet he failed to carry out what the 'Good Master' asked of him. Because he refused to do what Jesus asked of him, it is clear that the man believed Jesus was not God, but a special person.
The man had experienced that his wealth would not able to secure his eternal life, and yet he was attached to wealth. He approached Jesus with the expectation that Jesus would approve what he had been doing- observing the commandments. Jesus loved him, and asked him to take a further step. He was unable to take heed. He got upset, returning to square one.
Wealth is a sign of blessing when it is used to support the life of others; wealth is a curse when one attaches to it, and become its slave.
Jesus addressed His disciples 'My children'. In this context, Jesus probably meant the man had the 'infant faith'. Children learn things by memorizing, and reciting. They aren't yet able to understand much, but later on in life, they will understand more. The man, whose faith in God was still at an infant stage, loved to recite God's commandments, but was unable to put them into practice.
The second meaning of 'children' relates to inheritance. Parents leave their children the gift of love in their will. This gift is to be taken after the death of their parents. Jesus died to give eternal life to His children. It is God's free gift given to those who call God: Father, Abba. To take this free gift, one needs to make a commitment. The man could gain eternal life, by giving what little he owned to obtain the immeasurable gift of God- eternal life. He failed to do what Jesus asked of him, because his wealth stopped him from doing so.