by Thomas Manton
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?—MARK 10:17.
ANY reigning sin maketh us incapable of faith, and by consequence of salvation, of which we have a notable instance in the conference that passed between Christ and a young ruler of the Jews. The story begins in the words read, 'And when he was gone forth into the way,' &c. The words give an account of a question put to Christ. And here—
1. The time and place, when and where this question was put to him, 'When he was gone forth into the way.' In the 10th verse we read he was in some private house, where the pharisees did resort to him, and dispute with him about divorce; and ver. 13, 'They brought young children to him, that he might bless them.' Now when he had pleaded their right, and 'laid his hands upon them, and blessed them,' Matthew tells us that 'he departed thence,' chap. 19:15; and by the wayside, as he was in his journey to some other place, this ruler comes to him. Thus doth our Lord find new occasions of doing good; in the house, and by the wayside. Acts 10:38, it is said, 'He went about doing good.' The life of Christ was a constant course of service to God and bounty to men; he went about, and he went about doing good. This is the time and place, when and where.
2. The next circumstance is the person by whom the question was put. The text saith only, 'There came one running to him.' What this one was we shall find by laying several scriptures together. (1.) This one is said to be νἑανίσκος 'a young man,' Mat. 19:20; (2.) Πλούσιος 'a rich man,' ver. 22, 'He had great possessions.' (3.) Ἄρχων, 'a ruler,' Luke 18:18. What is meant by that? Possibly one of the chief pharisees, for they were called ἄρχοντες, rulers, Luke 14:1, or a ruler of the synagogue; or, as Grotius thinks, one of the magistrates of his town, or rather the head and chief of his family. The honourable families among the Jews had their heads and chiefs, whom they called their rulers. Now such a ruler, a young man, an honourable person, a head and chief of his family, he comes to Christ, and puts this question to him.
3. The manner of his address to Christ; it was voluntary, 'He came,' saith the text, that is, of his own accord. It was zealous and earnest, 'He came running to him.' It was humble, 'He kneeled down to him;' and besides, it was civil and respectful; he calls him 'Rabbi,' and gives him the title of 'good,' 'Good master.' He comes with a kind compellation which shows his reverence and respect to Christ. This was the manner of his address.
4. The question itself, which is weighty and serious, 'What shall I do to inherit eternal life?' Out of all these circumstances take this observation—
Table of Contents
Sermon I. "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled down to him, and asked him, saying, Good master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
Sermon II. "And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good!"
Sermon III. "Thou knowest the commandments,"
Sermon IV. "And he answered and said unto him, Master,"
Sermon V. "Now Jesus, beholding him, loved him,"
Sermon VI. "One thing thou lackest,"
Sermon VII. "And come, take up the cross, and follow me"
Sermon VIII. "And take up the cross,"
Sermon IX. "And he was sad at that saying,"
Sermon X. "And Jesus looked round about,"
Sermon XI. "And the disciples were astonished at his words,"
Sermon XII. "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,"
Sermon XIII. "And they were astonished out of measure,"
Sermon XIV. "And Jesus, looking upon them, saith,"
Sermon XV. "With God all things are possible,"