Children and Young Rich Man
Luke 18:15-30 – May 8, 2022
Luke 18:15-17. Matthew and Mark both recount this blessing of the children immediately after Jesus’ teaching on divorce. Here it follows the comparison of prayer of a Pharisee and a tax collector.
Lk 18:15. Children/babies. They were second-class citizens in antiquity. A great rabbi shouldn’t be bothered by them, Jesus’ disciples naturally think. Jesus disagrees.
Lk 18:15. Touch here means blessing by laying on hands. Few of history’s religious leaders have shown much concern for children. Jesus, however, breaks this tradition.
Lk 18:16. Children are highly receptive and incapable of having produced good works to merit heaven. Jesus implies that to such, who are open to His teaching and do not depend on their own presumed goodness, belongs the kingdom of God.
Lk 18:17. Verily or Truly is the amen of authoritative pronouncement. It presupposes Jesus’ right to state who will and who will not be granted entrance into the kingdom. And as He said in John 14:6, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In addressing young children Jesus sets forth the condition for entering the kingdom of heaven – lowliness and trust. Childlike – not childish.
In the next section a young rich ruler finds out the need for self-renunciation.
Luke 18:18. What must I do?
Luke 18:19-20. Good? Flattery or recognition? Which of the six commandments for our actions with others did Jesus leave off? Thou shall not covet, the tenth!
Luke 18:21-22. What he has done, as if he could earn his way into heaven.
You lack one thing, Namely, to love God more than mammon. Two steps Jesus called out, Then come, follow me
Mark’s account adds something here. Mark wrote: Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him (Mark 10:21).
Luke 18:23-25. Very sorrowful and very rich is a tragic combination, yet common enough in those who make an idol out of riches, It was not just a matter of his wealth as we find out in chapter 19:1-10 where Zacchaeus without prompting says he will give half his wealth to the poor and will pay back 4 times anything he has cheated anyone of.
Remember what Paul said to Timothy: But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
Luke 18:26-27. 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Luke 18:28-30. Whatever has been given up for Him will be returned to us many times over, both in this present age, and in the age to come eternal life. Many times over is literal, but spiritual in its fulfillment.