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On the rooftop of his palatial mansion, on one of the seven hills of Jerusalem, the rich young ruler sat talking to his friend, Zebediah, over a sumptuous lunch. Somber, our young friend said,

“It is so regrettable that that good man, Jesus, was put to death by Rome. He had so many good things to say.”

Zeb, as the young man referred to him, said, “Yes, he was a good man. And, most likely, a prophet. What about the words he said to you, about giving everything away and following him? How do you see them now?”

“Truthfully, Zeb, if I may share my heart, I felt sorrowful that day when I walked away from Jesus. Something deep inside told me that his words were true. But at the time, though it sounded like he wanted me to simply give all I have away to the poor and come and follow him, in view of the present circumstances, I have come to see things in a different light. Now that he is dead, and all his disciples are scattered, I find myself in a unique position to fulfill his words in a different way, a better way, a more practical way.”

Pray, do tell

Zeb munched on a piece of fruit, raising his eyebrows, “Pray, do tell me your revelation.”

“I am a man of great wealth, albeit most of it from my father, but he is old and will pass away soon and does not agree with The Way. However, when God rests his soul, the entirety of his fortune will be mine to do with as I wish. Those who believe in Christ will need my support. If I would have done what it seemed Jesus was saying that day, I would be as poor and miserable as they are. I see, with the benefit of hindsight, that what my master truly meant was that I must preserve my wealth and distribute it amongst his disciples at a future date, when they need it most.”

Zeb, finishing another piece of fruit, exclaimed, “By Jehovah! I see the wisdom of your words! Had you done literally what the Messiah said, the poor would have been enriched for a day or a week or a month. Had you followed him and done exactly what he said, you would be hunted as they are! Your prudence was not delay, but obviously of God!”

The rich young ruler sat back down on his cushion, satisfied that his friend understood perfectly his reasons for delaying, until an appointed time, his obedience, saying, “In the future when the time is right my friend, I will obey fully the words of my master. In the meantime, I will help my father build my wealth so that it might be used for Christ’s Kingdom in the future.”


The rich young ruler’s father, God rest his soul, lived to a very ripe old age. Though many predicted his demise, the man lived and lived and lived some more. The ‘rich young ruler’ became the ‘rich old man’, still waiting for his inheritance. As he grew older and older he hid in his heart his pledge to fulfill Jesus’ words once he received his due. Now, standing at the sepulcher of his father, grieving, it was finally time to do as Jesus really wanted. The years of sacrifice, all the prayers, all the plans that he laid had truly been worth it. For now, he had the means and the opportunity to fulfill the words of his master a hundred fold!

He turned, looking out over the walls of the eternal city later that day, and in his heart said, Now, I will do my Master’s will. The year was 70 AD.