Mark 10:17

17 As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?"

Mark 10:17 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 10:17

And when he was gone forth into the way
For when he had blessed the children he departed from the coasts of Judea, on the further side of Jordan, and steered his course towards Jerusalem, ( Mark 10:32 ) , and as he was on the road thitherwards,

there came one running;
a young man, a ruler among the Jews, and very rich, a person of great dignity, and large substance; he hearing that Christ was going from those parts, ran in great haste to him, to have some conversation with him, before he was entirely gone;

and kneeled to him;
as a token of great respect and civility: some versions, as the Persic and Ethiopic, render it, "and worshipped him"; which must be understood not in a religious, but in a civil way: the words might be literally rendered, "and kneeled him"; and Dr. Lightfoot suspects, that more is meant than bending his knees to Christ; that he also might take hold of the knees of Christ, and kiss them, as was usual with the Jewish Rabbins, and which he illustrates by several instances:

and asked him, good master, what shall I do that I may inherit
eternal life?
This man, though a young man, and also a rich man, was thoughtful of the world to come, and the life of it: he believed there was an eternal life after this state of things, and so was no Sadducee; but he had wrong notions about the way and manner of attaining it: he thought it was to be had by the works of the law, which shows him to be a Pharisee; whereas eternal life is the gift of God, through the Messiah, the person he now applied to, and who had the words of eternal life; and to a more proper person he could not have put the question, he being himself the way, the truth, and the life, or the true way to eternal life: and had he attended to his own words, which suggest, that eternal life is an inheritance, he might have learned, that it is not to be acquired by the industry and works of men; but, that it is the bequest of our heavenly Father to his children, and comes by will, by promise, and as a free gift; so that it is not of the law; nor are they that are of the law heirs of it, ( Romans 4:14 ) ( Galatians 3:18 ) ; (See Gill on Matthew 19:16).

Mark 10:17 In-Context

15 I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."
16 Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.
17 As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?"
18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him. "No one is good except God alone.
19 You know the commandments: "Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; do not cheat; respect your father and your mother.' "
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.