I heard about an expert in diamonds who happened to be seated on an airplane beside a woman with a huge diamond on her finger. Finally, the man introduced himself and said, "I couldn't help but notice your beautiful diamond. I am an expert in precious stones. Please tell me about that stone." She replied, "That is the famous Klopman diamond, one of the largest in the world. But there is a strange curse that comes with it." Now the man was really interested. He asked, "What is the curse?" As he waited with bated breath, she replied, "It's Mr. Klopman."
of you may wish to re-evaluate your diamonds on that basis. But seriously the
true curse of any kind of valuable possession is its capacity to steal our
hearts and souls. The rich young ruler is one of those unique characters from
the Bible that have come to represent greed. So unwilling was he to part with
earthly wealth that he sold his soul in order to keep his money. He wanted to be
saved but not at the expense of losing his possessions. The first thing that
impresses me when I read this story is that the rich young ruler was so near to
the Kingdom. He asked all the right questions. He understood the Law and he
understood Jesusí teaching.
But in the end love of money kept him out. We see him as a moral coward.
that conclusion is too simple. The fact is there are a lot of good things that
can be said of him. I'm impressed with the fact, for example, that having talked
with him only a few minutes, Mark tells us that Jesus looked upon him and loved
him. That doesn't sound like a scathing criticism to me. And, I think that we
also need to remember that to this young boy Jesus was not the Son of God. He
was simply a new prophet, with an exciting message, a magnetic personality, and
eyes that gripped you when you spoke to him. He was certainly not the Christ of
the Apostles' Creed. At this point in his ministry, not even the disciples
looked upon Jesus in that regard. The stone of Easter had not yet been rolled
so for a few moments this morning I would like to champion the cause of this
underdog and reassess his character. And then I want to look at his fatal flaws.
First letís look at the positive. These are things that brought him to the
master, qualities that made him interested in Jesusí teachings.
The first positive thing is: he was courageous.
The second positive thing is: he was humble.
The third positive thing is: he was religious.
look at the negative. These are things that made him turn away form the master.
The first negative thing is: he was looking for a rule to keep.
The second negative thing is: he loved his money.
The third negative thing is: he walked away.