One Year Bible Notes
Let the Children Come to Me, The Rich Young Man
Listen to John MacArthur on today’s scripture below:
You know, for many people and even for many commentators, this is a passage to be overlooked. This is something to kind of skip through because it doesn’t seem to carry much import. But quite the contrary, it’s one of the really most important passages in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, because it answers this very vast, far-reaching question of what happens to babies that die. And since through the history of the world and counted millions of children have died in infancy or early childhood and they continue to do so even in the world today, it is a huge question to answer.
Where are all the souls of all those children that have died? This is the passage that, more than any, answers that question, and I think it answers it very, very clearly. What we see here is the Lord blessing these little children, and God doesn’t bless those who are cursed, and Jesus never pronounced a blessing on any other than a person who belonged in His kingdom. So this is a very unique situation where our Lord blesses little children.
Here we learn from the life of our Lord the reality of how to deal with a selfish, shallow seeker who in this case is extremely religious. And the central point of this encounter is that proud, selfish people – no matter how much they may say they want eternal life – are not prepared to receive it. This young man failed the greatest test of his life. He was offered a choice between himself and God, between fulfillment here and now and fulfillment in the life to come. The question was: What was more valuable to him? God and the life to come or his own will and the present life?
Mark 10:21. And said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
He knew that there was a weak point in the young man’s character — that he did not yet supremely love God, but loved his wealth — that he was living for this world, after all. And are there not many such — most correct in character? No one could point to a single flaw in their morals, but they are living purely for self — altogether that they may buy and sell, and get gain. No thought of God, except a fear lest they should come under his rod, but no thought of serving him, and laying themselves out for his glory, nor much thought, either, for their fellow-men. Christ had hit the blot —marked it out for him.