The encounter of Jesus with the Rich Young Ruler portrays the truth that only when man abandons his confidence in riches and other things, can he receive the supernatural gift of everlasting life. Because,
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Confidence in anything but Christ alone is futile.
Often, people believe riches are equated with God’s approval, yet man’s attempt to earn everlasting life is impossible because he is not good enough. The disciples believed the riches = approval formula and were “astonished beyond measure.”
The lesson to the rich young ruler is that if no one is as good as God, no one can be truly good. If no one can be truly good, no one can be good enough to live with a holy God for eternity. It does not matter how much one might try to keep the Law or how much one might try to give up or give away or go on to imitate Christ’s sinless life in continuous discipleship.
The lesson to the disciples was that salvation on the basis of merit, even though shown by wealth, is impossible.
God will save by grace or not at all.
Salvation is possible only through Him.