St. Edmund's Church, Crickhowell

Encounters with Jesus -

The Rich Man



We all tend to think of "the rich" as those who have more wealth than we have. In comparison with the vast majority of the world's people we in the UK are all among the rich. We need, therefore, to look at this story very carefully.


Dream a little. What single thing would signal to you that you had finally reached the ranks of the rich. Flying First Class? Front row seats at the Millenium Centre? Or what?


Read Mark 10: 13 - 31.

The Children

The story of the rich man's encounter with Jesus is preceded by Jesus extoling the virtue of child-like faith. A deliberate contrast seems intended between the children and the rich man.

  1. What exactly is the nature of the contrast?
  2. What are the characteristics of child-like faith?
  3. How can it be possible for adults to have that kind of faith?
  4. What implications does this story have for the way we conduct the life of the church ?

The Rich Man

  1. What did the man want from Jesus? What did Jesus offer him?
  2. How do you understand Jesus' reply in v18? Does it mean that Jesus didn't think that he was good? What does it tell us about God and/or Jesus?
  3. Jesus obviously took to this man. What was it about him that was so attractive?
  4. Why should giving your money away to the poor be more important than keeping the commandments?
  5. Therefore, do we all have to sell everything?
  6. Does Jesus' "eye of a needle" comment mean that no rich people will ever get into heaven?

The Disciples

  1. How would you answer the disciples' question in v26, "Who then can be saved?"
  2. The phrase; "the first will be last, and the last first" crops up several times in the gospels. What do you think it means here?
  3. Peter said to Jesus: "We have left everything to follow you!" Do you feel that following Jesus has been a net loss or a net gain for you? What did you lose? What have you gained?


Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!
[Philippians 2: 5-8]

As always Jesus himself is the great example of one who let nothing stand in the way of doing the will of God. Praise God for his humility and obedience, and ask for the grace to be more like him.

6/10   pgm   Last updated 3.11.2004