Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 239

The Rich Young Ruler Lacked One Thing

This chapter is based on Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23.

“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’”

This young man, a ruler, had many possessions and a position of responsibility. He saw the love that Christ showed toward the children, and his heart burned with love for the Savior. He was so deeply moved that He ran after Christ and, kneeling at His feet, asked sincerely and earnestly the question so important to his life and to every human being.

“Why do you call Me good?” said Christ. “No one is good but One, that is, God.” Jesus wanted to draw from him in what way he regarded Him as good. Did he realize that the One to whom he was speaking was the Son of God? What was the true feeling of his heart?

This ruler had a high opinion of his own righteousness, yet he felt the lack of something he did not possess. Could Jesus bless him and satisfy his heart’s craving?

In reply, Jesus told him that obedience to the commandments of God was necessary if he wanted to obtain eternal life. The ruler’s answer was positive: “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”

Christ looked into the face of the young man as if reading his life and searching his character. He loved him and hungered to give him peace and joy. “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Christ was drawn to this young man. The Redeemer longed to create in him the power to see the necessity of heart devotion. He longed to see in him a humble and repentant heart, hiding its shortcomings in the perfection of Christ.

In this ruler Jesus saw just the help He needed in the work of salvation. If he would place himself under Christ’s guidance, he would be a power for good. Christ, seeing into his character, loved him. Love for Christ was awakening in the ruler’s heart, for love produces love. Jesus longed to see him become a coworker with Him. He longed to develop the excellence of his

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