Isn't the whole basis of Christianity about faith primarily and compassion and love for your fellow man, as reinforced by the "do unto others" philosophy.
By following the Commandments, the man was already doing what was required of him to obtain eternal life (as indicated at post #6). The man himself was not satisifed with that. As with life, true satisfaction comes from doing your best and , apparently the man knew he was not doing his best and could do more.
In order to do more, however, the man was required to first of all show his faith by giving his belongings away, be compassionate by giving to the poor and show his love by following Jesus. These were the things Jesus asked him to do to be "perfect" not to receive eternal life.
I agree that, as Litteacher8 pointed out in post#4, interpretation is key and there are many things which are translated differently - even though some of those differences are subtle. Even within Christianity itself, there are subtle differences which, for centuries have divided people.
The concept of "good works" would be one such area of debate. Catholics maintain that good works are not required whereas, other sectors of Christianity maintain that it is a pre-requisite. Paul's letter to the Ephesians (2:8-9) states:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
The problem here is the word"grace." It's ancient meaning also translated as "favor" as in "through the favor of others" so not your own doing but, it is also held that a Christian would always repay a favor. Hence the confusion!
I think that we often proclaim our Christianity but do litle to "show" it. Whether you attend church regularly, give your tenth to the church, make cakes or something for the bake sale, and are held in high esteem by your fellow parishioners, if you then dismiss the poor beggar or the starving child on the corner because you already fulfill all your Christian requirements, then you are not truly Christian.
I failed to attend church for quite a while when I moved house and I was treated with utmost disgust at the new church by the parish secretary and the priest to the point that my son was unable to be confirmed. They did not care that we lead good wholesome lives and give to our fellow man, are compassionate and caring, etc, etc, it we had not been to church we must be bad Christians. So how's that for being judgmental? Did Jesus himself not say to "bring the children unto me" ?
Anyway, suffice it to say that it's always about what you do never about what you say. Paying lip-service to anyone and judging others won't get anyone in to heaven. And being a good Christian is far more than "appearing" to be the good Christian.