2020-01-27 What Ever Happened To That Guy?

“But Mary treasured up all these things,
pondering them in her heart.”
Luke 2:19

I had an interesting thought that I’ll share with you. It has to do with the Rich Young Ruler. Let’s look at a shortened version:

Mark 10:17, 21-22 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”…And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

The thought struck me about the fact that Jesus loved this man. Then the thought of Jacob and Esau hit me.

Romans 9:13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

This passage is interesting and has to do with divine election and indicated that Jacob was saved. Yet the general consensus is that the man in the first passage walked away thereby rejecting salvation. But did he? It said Jesus loved him. Mark is the only gospel that says that. Might we interpret something from this one little verse?

Perhaps. Do we see Jesus “loving” anyone else? Yes, we do.

John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

John 13:23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side.

John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby….

John 20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved…

John 21:7 That disciple whom Jesus loved….

John 21:20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved…

Most believe that the unnamed disciple is the Apostle John. Otherwise, I am not aware of Jesus “loving” specific people.

Now, I’m not going out on a limb to make direct inferences. However, it does make me wonder if the Rich Young Ruler might not have been saved after all, and this was Mark’s way of tipping us to that. Matthew and Luke don’t have that.

Indeed, all three record a discussion of the seeming difficulty of the rich to enter the kingdom of God. However, Jesus adds this, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

So, it certainly would have been within Jesus’ authority to forgive the man of his sin after he had walked away, perhaps even as he was doing so. “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” (Mark 2:10)

That’s something I’m going to check out when I get to heaven. “Is that guy here?”

Another thing then hit me. I wonder who he was. He isn’t given a name in the gospels. Is that a problem to my idea that he was saved? I don’t think so. We see other instances where someone is unnamed in one place, but we figure it out in others. We do know that he was rich. All three synoptic gospels say that. Mark adds that he is a ruler, supposedly to mean someone with authority.

I think this guy might be Joseph of Arimathea. He was rich, a ruler, and also a disciple of Jesus.

Matthew 27:57, 59 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus…And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and lait it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock.

Perhaps. But, was he rich? For the rich young ruler, we find Matthew says he was young, but it doesn’t say he was a ruler. Mark doesn’t say anything about being young or a ruler. Luke says he as a ruler but doesn’t mention young. Are these three accounts depicting the same scene and the same man? I would think so. Therefore, we can conclude that he was rich, young, AND a ruler.

We see the same type of thing about Joseph of Arimathea, between rich and ruler. None of the synoptic gospels mentions that he was young.

Who knows! I’m thinking that the Rich Young Ruler is Joseph of Arimathea. I’m curious to find out if this is so! So much to look forward to!!

Father, thank you so much for entertaining me in all this. How wonderful is your book! Amen!

Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

One thought on “2020-01-27 What Ever Happened To That Guy?

  1. My old pastor had a theory that the rich young ruler was Saul of Tarsus. But he himself said that the Lord appeared to him last of all, as to a late- term baby, which seems to rule out that theory. Joseph of Arimathea sounds possible though!

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