4th June 2013

We Don’t Know

 “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.”
Luke 18:23 (KJV) 

I have heard it said, on more than one occasion, that the rich young man in the story (verses 17-23) wasn’t prepared to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, yet the scripture doesn’t say that. We don’t know what decision he made, any more than we know what decision the elder brother made in the story of the ‘prodigal’ son (Luke 15:11-32). 

Did the rich, young man decide it wasn’t worth selling all his goods, or did he, having met Jesus in the flesh, and having wrestled with his thoughts, finally come to the conclusion that it was worth it and so did as Jesus had said? 

And did the elder brother storm off and cause a family rift or was he touched by his father’s words of reassurance and so went in to greet his brother and the guests? He may even have gone off angry but, after thinking about his father’s words, repented of his attitude and actions before reconciling with both his father and brother. 

We don’t know what either young man did and we don’t need to. Rather, we can use such stories to motivate our thoughts and actions. What would we have done? What would be the ideal response? Knowing myself, I’d need to watch out for self-righteousness, as I’m sure I’d answer those two questions with the same reply, whereas, being human, my actions would probably not have been ideal. 

It does, though, give me food for thought. 

Dear Father, please guide my thoughts as I consider what endings to the unfinished stories would be appropriate and pleasing to You. Then may I remember them and put them into practice as necessary. Thank You.

Study by Ruth Edwards

ruthedwards1About the Author:
Ruth Edwards is actively involved in her Worldwide Church of God Bristol congregation, including editing Links, a church magazine for the congregations of the South West and South Wales area.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Bristol
Emmersons Green Village Hall
Emmerson Way
South Gloucestershire
BS16 7AP

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Allan Frankcom
Email:  jf007d991@blueyonder.co.uk

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