In this passage we find the general attitude of the worldly-minded. In Luke 14:25-30 we can see the importance of “counting the cost” of following Christ. In Matthew 19:16-24 we have the antithesis of costly discipleship.
“Rich” is a relative term. Whether it is money or some other material item, as humans we have a tendency to place value on just about anything. That’s why Ebay is so popular. However, we should never place “things” before God! Where do our passions lie? Too often we demonize those who are “rich” by the world’s standards, but we neglect to see that there are many “poor” people who are more ungodly than the rich. This just goes to prove that money is not the concern – the heart is.
In Matthew’s gospel, the rich man is not concerned with following Christ or godliness, only with meeting the basic requirements for entering eternal life. A major problem with the rich man’s questioning of what “good thing” must be done to enter life is that – to some degree – if there really is a “checklist” of sorts then it puts man in control and not God. If the checklist exists then man can easily “demand” from God whatsoever he wills because he has met the requirements based on the pre-established list. This creates a salvation by works and not by faith and grace. It also completely removes the necessity of connecting with God in heart to heart, intimate relationship.
As with the rich man, many people today want the benefits of a relationship with Christ without the true and sincere worship of the Lord. Our world is made up of mostly minimalists, people who are overly concerned with doing the bare minimum for acceptance. If you will enter into life rid yourself of this world and trust completely in the Lord!