Everything - The Untold Story of the Rich Young Ruler.
Excluding those mentioned in the Gospels of the Bible, the characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by Richard A Hackett Jr.
Edited version: June 25, 2014
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author/publisher.
The Apostle John stated at the end of his gospel if every one of Jesus’ acts and encounters were to be written down, the whole world would not have room for the books that would need to be written. What is even more difficult to grasp is the idea each of those acts and individual encounters with the Son of God had an even deeper story and history leading up to, and following, that brief meeting. A story and history we will never know fully until we see Jesus. This book tells the story of one of those hundreds of encounters we read about in the four Gospels. It is the story of the Rich Young Ruler and the journey that led him to ask Jesus what would ultimately end up being the most important and revealing question of his life. What must I do to inherit eternal life?
In looking at the young man before him, the creator of the universe knew there was far more going on behind, within, and around this influential and wealthy young man than the simple question he had asked Jesus. There always is. In the same all-knowing way, Jesus’ response had far more meaning behind it than the young man could have ever imagined, or perhaps wanted to hear. At the end of his encounter with Jesus, we read the rich young man went away sad, because he was asked to give up everything if he were to follow Jesus. Jesus goes on to explain to his disciples how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. Afterward their only response was, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus' replied; "With man, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
For many, that is where the story of the rich young ruler ends. However, there is a strange verse in Mark 14:51, about a "young man" who was following Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus was led away after his arrest. The verse does not seem to belong or have a purpose behind it, but God always has a reason for everything.
This novel is not about the ending of this young man's life after his initial encounter with Jesus, but about the beginning of it. It is the untold story of the dangerous and impossible road he would have to travel if he were to find his Savior, his purpose, and ultimately his quest for eternal life. With God, all things are possible.
Jerusalem, 17 A.D.
Addi ran through the field with his sword and shield held high, the sun reflecting off of his freshly polished armor. He stopped and lowered his shield as his men began to form a defensive line several steps behind him. He looked across the field at the vast Roman army lined up in perfect order as if awaiting their arrival. A larger than a standard size man stepped forward, red plume on top of his helmet, adorned with the regalia of a Roman Legion Commander.
“Come here and I will give your flesh to the bird's boy!” The Roman commander yelled with a deep gravelly voice from across the battlefield, causing his troops behind him to laugh.
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, The God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied!” Addi yelled back, his voice sounding deeper and more confident than normal. With his men matching his speed and step, Addi moved forward to engage the front lines of the Roman Legions that were stretched endlessly before them. Starting with a slow walk, a jog, finally he was sprinting as his army picked up speed to launch itself at the Roman juggernaut.
At 10 years old, Addi knew he had no business leading an army, but his father had taught him that with God by his side none could stand against him and his men. As he reached the battle line, the Romans faltered at the sight of incredible strength and ability in one so young, for, with each perfect swing of his sword, the enemy fell like grass in the field. The sound of war was everywhere as metal clanged, and men yelled. Despite being greatly outnumbered, the ferociousness of Addi and his men’s attack brought with it the sights and sounds of victory as the Roman forces gradually turned and fled. The army of Israel had been victorious. His nation would once again be free from the yoke of tyranny! However, as he and his men cheered the Roman retreat, he could hear his father and mother somewhere on the battlefield yelling for him to “get out” and to “stay behind me.” They were both screaming at him.
The fact that they were on the battlefield was less disturbing to Addi than whatever reason they might have had for being so upset. He had never heard them argue or yell at each other, but always respectful and loving when speaking. As the sound of their voices and frustration increased, there was suddenly the sound of crashing furniture added to the noise of the fading battlefield. Knowing they had no furniture on the battlefield, Addi began to sort through the conflicting events unfolding around him. Not wanting to lose the feeling of this incredible victory, he first struggled to hang onto it, but his deep and growing concern for his parents eventually won the conflict in his mind, gradually letting the dream fade and opened his eyes to the reality of being in his own bedroom. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he began to separate the confusing memories of the dream from the reality that was now before him. He could hear more clearly the yelling voices of his parents were not yells of anger, but panic and terror. His mother was pleading through tears for someone to stop whatever it was they were doing. He could no longer hear his fathers voice, only his mother and her desperate pleas.
The sound of her voice terrified him, and his first thought was to crawl under his bed to hide, but the dream he had moments before reminded him of his statement that if God was with him, no one could stand against him. It gave him the courage to fight through his fear and place his feet on the floor beside his bed. He then willed himself to stand and walk toward the open door of his room, down the hallway toward the sound of his mother’s pleading voice. Every step he took was a battle of wanting to either run to her rescue or run away, but her desperate pleadings were fading as his anxiety was growing, urging him forward, even as his legs grew weaker with each step.
He reached the open doorway, seeing the dim light of an oil lamp on the desk had filled the room. He could see his father on the floor being held and shielded by his mother's arms as the attacker tried repeatedly to thrust his knife into his limp and bloody body. It was almost as if the attacker was playing with her with each thrust, mocking her protective efforts. As he looked up from his father, he could see his mother's arms were also covered in blood from the many cuts and wounds she had incurred protecting his body. Addi could see blood also flowing from a wound to her chest and her mouth. It was at that horrible moment his mother saw Addi standing in the doorway, and a deeper fear and concern seemed to fill her.
Unfortunately, the man attacking her also saw her expression change and followed her gaze to the doorway where Addi stood and turned toward him, forgetting his current victims.
With the courage only a mother can have for her child, she struggled to her knees, sliding her husband off of her lap and grasped the legs of the man before her with what strength she still had. “Run Addi!” she struggled to yell through the pain, but Addi could no longer move. He stood frozen in fear. The horror of the moment before him was now too much for his young mind to understand or for his body to respond.
With a smile and jerk of his leg, the attacker untangled himself from Addi’s mother and walked toward Addi, turning the long bloody knife in his hand as the mother pleaded through tears not to harm her son, continuing with all her strength to pull herself forward to somehow reach Addi in time.
“Not the boy.” A cold voice stated calmly from the other side of the room. Addi’s eyes turned to see a man in a heavy robe with a hood pulled over his head, his face hidden in the dark shadows of the hood. The man was standing behind the desk belonging to his father, now a disheveled mess from where the man had pulled the scrolls and papers from formerly well-organized shelves, drawers and boxes. His voice sounded like he was unaware of the horror taking place around him and had only taken a casual break from his efforts to give the order.
“But he’s seen us?” The man with the knife replied.
“Those were the orders, so if you want to get paid and live, you had better keep them.” The man replied, again with no emotion as he continued unrolling the scrolls. The man with the knife seemed perplexed at the command. He stood before Addi contemplating what to do next, seeing the boy’s mother had almost crawled the distance to him. Addi looked down to see his mother faintly sigh at the news. Somehow through all the blood and pain she found the ability to smile at him.
The last thing Addi remembered, as he looked at his mother’s loving expression, was seeing the sudden movement of the man’s arm and the explosion in his head as a huge hand connected with the side of his face.