Perhaps you have never heard of him. He was one of the original followers of one Jesus of Nazareth. but you might remember his story, as recorded in the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
“And , behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do. that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him….if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments…The young man saith unto him. All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:16-22)
What was this young man’s name? Well, his name is not recorded. But it might have been Ahab! If this young man had given up his riches and followed the Savior, he might have gone down in history with a name. He might have ended up being one of the Lord’s apostles. He might be known throughout Christendom as Apostle Ahab, and we would all know of his wonderful conversion story. People would still be reading and feeling inspired by his willingness to forsake all for the gospel. It would have been a wonderful story. One for the ages! The conversion story of the Apostle Ahab! Instead, this young man went down in history….nameless! His earthly possessions have long since been given to another. His imprint…found nowhere on humanity!
Another story, similar, is also found in the gospels of Matthew and Mark. You know this story…and their names.
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea…And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother…and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and…and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-22)
Peter, James, John, and Andrew! Thousands have been named after them. We will never know the name of the rich young man who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. He remains nameless and nameless is his legecy. Let us live our lives such that we bring honor to our own given names, but more importantly, that we live such that we bring honor to Jesus Christ, whose name we have taken upon ourselves.