Jesus and the rich young man

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Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich young manBeijing, 1879.

Jesus and the rich young man (also called Jesus and the rich young ruler) is an episode in the life of Jesus in the New Testament that deals with eternal life[1][2] and the World to Come.[3] It appears in the Gospel of Matthew 19:16–30, theGospel of Mark 10:17–31 and the Gospel of Luke 18:18–30. It relates to the Evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience.

In the Gospel of Matthew, a rich young man asks Jesus what actions bring eternal life. First Jesus advises the man to obey the commandments. When the man responds that he already observes them, Jesus adds:

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.[4]

The Gospel of Luke has a similar episode and states that:

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”[5]

The disciples then ask Jesus who then can be saved, and Jesus replies: “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

This parable relates the term eternal life to entry into the Kingdom of God.[6] The parable starts by a question to Jesus about “eternal life” and Jesus then refers to entry into the “Kingdom of God” in the same context.[6][7]

See also


  1. ^ Matthew for Everyone: Chapters 16-28 by Tom Wright 2004 ISBN 0-664-22787-2 page 47
  2. ^ The Bible Exposition Commentary: New Testament: Volume 1 by Warren W. Wiersbe 2003 ISBN 1-56476-030-8 page 251
  3. ^ Mark 10:30
  4. ^ Bible gateway
  5. ^ Bible gateway
  6. a b Matthew by David L. Turner 2008 ISBN 0-8010-2684-9 page 473
  7. ^ The Westminster theological wordbook of the Bible by Donald E. Gowan 2003 ISBN 0-664-22394-X pages 296–298