But so often, we fail to recognize this story for what it is... evangelism by the Master. Here we have a true seeker, "... what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
And the response is amazing!
Mark 10:17-22 17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'" 20 And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
And so here we see, by the Bible's own admission, the "Way of the Master." It is a little different from Ray Comfort's method of evangelism. Yeshua points him to the one standard that all men are held to, that of Yahweh's Torah, "you know the commandments..."
And so we see Yeshua's answer to the man's question, keep the commandments. How can we have missed such an important question so quickly resolved here in the Gospels? Because of our separation from the God-ordained carriers of the faith, the Torah. Clearly, this is what Yeshua tells us that we must do to gain eternal life.
The young man replied, "all these things I have done..." Does this mean he was without sin? No, it means that, according to Yhwh's commands, when he had sinned, he made sacrifice at the temple. But he had a bigger problem. Being a man of wealth, he had much possessions, and they were an idol for him. And Yeshua knew that too. So when he told him to go and sell his possessions, and give to the poor (another aspect of the Way of the Master ~ the fruits of Torah and Spirit-filled living in the life of believers), the young man was dismayed and chose not to follow the rabbi's advice.
And so here we see that the young man did not love his neighbor as himself. As so as Yeshua's criticism of the scribes and teachers of the Law, tithing their mint, dill and cumin, but neglecting the weightier matters of Torah, so too did this young man, miss the spirit of the Torah's teaching.
Again we see Yeshua the Messiah stressing that it is not necessarily about our physical, visible rituals we carry out (though that is a part), it is about our heart's identification with the Father's heart. How is your heart? Do you carry out the Father's will/desire in your life? Many protestants question that and do not know how they can clearly identify that in their lives. But the apostle John helps us with this, and spells it out clearly, "All who commit sin practice lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness," that is, torah-lessness (1 Jn. 3:4).
Matthew 7:19-23 9 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'