What is riches?

Mark 10:21 AV
Then Jesus beholding him loved him,
and said unto him, ‭
One thing thou lackest:
go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast,
and give to the poor,
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come, take up the cross,
and follow me.‭

Other translations

And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him, and He said to him, You lack one thing; go and sell all you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come [and] accompany Me [walking the same road that I walk]. [AMP]

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." [ESV]

Jesus looked him hard in the eye--and loved him! He said, "There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me." [MSB]

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. [KJV]

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." [NIV]

Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. "You lack only one thing," he told him. "Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." [NLT]

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." [NKJV]

Some further information

Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him

Not as God, with that special love, with which He loves His people, who were given Him by the Father, and are redeemed by His blood.
▪︎ Whom He calls by His grace,
▪︎ justifies by his righteousness,
▪︎ forgives their iniquities,
▪︎ and, at last, glorifies:
but as man, He had an human affection for him; so far as there was any appearance of moral good in him, it was agreeable to Him, who loves righteousness, and hates iniquity.

And though the young man betrayed much vanity, pride, and conceit,
▪︎ He did not use him roughly, but kindly, and tenderly;
▪︎ He beheld him, he looked wistly upon him, when he said the above words; which look intimated, that he could not believe he had perfectly, and completely kept all the commandments; however, he did not choose to reproach him with a lie, and charge him with pride and arrogance, but gave him good words, and spoke friendly to him; and, as far as He could, commended him for his diligence in observing the commands: in this sense the word is observed to be used by the Septuagint interpreters, as when it is said of Ahab, ( 2 Chronicles 18:2 ) , that he “persuaded him” (Jehoshaphat), they render it, (hgapa) , “he loved him to go up to Ramoth Gilead”:
▪︎ he gave him good words,
▪︎ he spoke friendly to him, and by fair speeches prevailed upon him:
and so when it said of the Israelites, ( Psalms 78:36 ) ;
▪︎ “they did flatter him”, (God,) they render it,
▪︎ “they loved him with their mouth”; spoke very well to him, and of him, praised him, and his works, and in this way expressed affection to him, though it was only with their mouths.

Moreover, Christ might not only speak kindly to this young man, but he might make use of some external gesture: which showed an human affection to him, and respect for him.

Dr, Lightfoot conjectures it might be by kissing his head, which might be conveniently done, as he was now on his knees; and since this was frequently used by the Jewish doctors, as an expression of respect, of which he gives various instances; and more might be added, especially out of the book of Zohar, where we often read of one Rabbi kissing the head or another, or of his pupil.

But the sense of this phrase, which pleases me best of all, is what may be collected from the use of it among the “seventy” interpreters, who often render the Hebrew word, which signifies to “have compassion”, or “show pity”, by the word here used: so ( Proverbs 28:13 ), “whoso confesseth and forsaketh, shall have mercy”, they interpret, “shall be loved” and ( Hosea 2:23 ) , “I will have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy”, they render , “l will love her that was not beloved”; once more, ( Zechariah 10:6 ) .
“I will bring them again to place them, for I have mercy upon them”, they translate, “because I have loved them”; see also ( Isaiah 60:10 ) and then, according to this use of the word, the sense is, that Jesus looked upon him when he expressed himself in such a pert manner, and had a compassionate concern for him; He pitied him for his ignorance of the law, in its spirituality and large extent; for his pride and vanity, his conceit of, and glorying in himself: wherefore, in order to mortify him, and abate these swelling thoughts of himself;

He said unto him, one thing thou lackest

Before which last clause the Ethiopic version puts this, “if thou wilt be perfect”, out of Matthew 19:21 , and the Coptic version, and two of Stephens’s copies have it before the following

go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come

This young man’s reigning sin seems to have been an overweening affection for the things of this world; his riches were his idol, on which his heart was set, and in which he trusted.
Wherefore he was so far from keeping all the commandments, that he had not even kept the first; “thou shalt have no other gods before me”.
There was more than one thing wanting in him, but the Christ takes notice of this as the first; and there was no need to mention any other; this touched him sensibly, and fully tried, and sufficiently exposed the vanity of his boasted perfection.

Take up the cross, and follow me

That clause, “take up the cross”, is omitted in the Latin Vulgate, and it is not mentioned by Matthew.
The Ethiopic version reads it, “the cross of thy death”, and places it before, “come and follow me”; as do also the Syriac and Persic versions; but the Arabic reads it last of all.

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Jesus sees the man’s uprightness and therefore loves him.
He personally invites the man to follow Him (literally): a privilege reserved for only a few.

The man had asked what to do; Jesus again (Mark 10:19) gives a very concrete answer: ‘Sell everything you have and give it to the poor’.

The “treasure in heaven” (cf. Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:33,34) that the man will receive in response is eternal life (cf. Mark 10:17).

Of course, selling possessions does not in itself give access to the eternal (Ephesians 2:8,9; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:3). But Jesus does not give a general rule here, but a very personal assignment.
If the man actually gave up all his belongings in obedience to the word of Jesus, he would thereby also have provided proof that he was serious about the word that Jesus spoke to him; and it would also have indicated that he no longer trusted in himself and his belongings (cf. Mark 10:24), but was now completely dependent on the help of the heavenly Father.

The outward act that Jesus asks of the man (selling his possessions and imitating Jesus) is therefore a test of his inward condition (faith in the Lord Jesus).

The words ‘take up (your) cross’ emphasize the difference between the opulent and easy life that the man now lives (he was very rich, Mark 10:22) and living in poverty and tribulation in imitation of Jesus (cf. Matthew 8:19, 20). [These words are missing in older manuscripts.]

Now let us reflect on this

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Wealth can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse!

And Jesus, looking about, said to His disciples, “How hard shall they that have money enter into the kingdom of God.”
This statement of Jesus makes us realize that wealth, and many possessions, is a curse to us, rather than a blessing.

Obviously, keeping God’s commandments cannot deliver us from the curse of riches; otherwise Jesus would not have said to the rich young man, “Sell all that you have.”

His possessions were still in the way of obtaining a treasure in heaven. After all, our hearts can only be in one place: either on earth or in heaven!

Everything that binds us to the earth prevents us from living in the heavenly places.
We are entering the Kingdom of God while on earth, or never!
If we only entered the Kingdom of God in eternity, then the possession of money and goods would not be in our way, because money and goods cannot be taken with us into eternity.

The rich young man went away sad, for he was tied to his earthly possessions.

▪︎ Do you get sick when your car is scratched?
▪︎ Do you refuse to provide assistance on the street because your new suit might get dirty?
▪︎ Don’t you have time to serve God because your evenings are filled with study for a higher position?

Only when the Holy Ghost convinces us that all the earthly good that we have has been given to us in abundance to do well, to be generous, and to be communicative, will we be able to use what we possess to ensure a sure foundation for eternity! (1 Timothy 6: 17-19).

Twitter: @SchoemakerHarry
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
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