Friday, June 8, 2012

Mark 10:17-27 Sermon notes

And behold as He was setting out on His journey, a ruler ran up and knelt before him and asked him, "Good Teacher, what good deed must I do to inherit eternal life?"
So Jesus blesses the little children and goes to leave, and right then this rich young ruler comes to Christ.  That he kneels down shows he is honest and serious about this, not trying to trap Jesus or fool Him, but get an honest answer.  He thinks that by merit he can obtains life.

And Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good?  Why do call me good? There is only one who is good, no one is good except God alone. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."  
Jesus stops the man for he has a mistaken preconception about his own goodness, much like most everyone here has.  Have you ever heard “How could God let that happen?” As if we are good and He is bad and He is on trial for His actions.  We are the ruined ones. We are fallen. This I know, God created man upright but he has gone away in search of many schemes.  Out of the abundance of his heart he speaks, and he speaks venom, poison, deadly restless evils.  Man is so sick and evil that he thinks he’s good.
Jesus points him towards God’s promise of life, Himself.  Jesus is saying, “Only God is good, and if you call me Good then you are calling me God.”  Which is true, so don’t make habit of calling men good, they only borrow goodness from the source, namely, God.
The reason Jesus lived a life on the earth and had to be perfect was because He kept every law and so merited eternal life.  When He died He willingly swapped His perfect law keeping for our law breaking.

He said to Him, "Which ones?"
The man wants to know. Obviously he can’t keep all of them, for some apply only to levites, which are priests, or women.  So he must keep some of them, but which ones?

And Jesus said, “You know the commandments: You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Jesus says in effect, “You know them, this isn’t a mystery.  You know the 10 commandments.”  Jesus adds the final one as a summary of the heart of the law.  The ten commandments boil down to this: we are commanded to love. 
But look at the ones Jesus tells him.  He speaks from the second table of the law, the commands that regard human behavior.  Jesus is setting him up here.  You know how you can remember the 10 commandments? They go in order of importance. You shall have no other Gods before Him, you shall not make or bow to an idol, you shall not take the name of the Lord in vain, honor the Sabbath, honor your parents, do not murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet.  So why does Jesus start from the human ones?  He’s going to correct the man in a very obvious way, by omitting God from the list, the same sin the man was engaged in.  What was the mans sin? He left God out. What did Jesus just do? Left God out.

The young man said to Him, “Teacher all these I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
Notice something, the man has kept these commandments.  He has everything, what would he covet? He doesn’t need worldly goods, so he feels no desire to steal, or murder for them.  He tithes, he gives to the hungry.  And even so, he knows that there is something not right.  His conscious declares him to be unforgiven, a failure, a ruin. 

Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and [When Jesus heard this, He] said to him, "You lack one thing: if you would be perfect go, sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Jesus loves him. He made him. He knows that he has tried very hard to be good, to be right, to do well.  But Jesus meets the man where he is and tells him the news: you have lifted up your money as an idol above God.  You know that you are lacking something, what it is is your whole heart dedicated to the Lord. And I will prove you have an evil heart, you think you are keeping the law? You are only keeping the second half of it.  Jesus wants so much more for him then that, so He tells the rich young ruler his only remedy: leave it all behind for God. Show God you value Him more than anything else. 
What is the one thing you would rather have then God? You cannot make it to heaven with it.  To repent is to lay it aside as not important.  Do lay it aside.

Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, looked around and said to His disciples said, "How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! When the young man heard this he was disheartened and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions
he was extremely rich

the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how difficult it is to entered the kingdom of God! Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
Why? Because the rich have more things that weigh them down. More things that complicate their lives.  It’s easy when you have nothing and are nothing to give it up and come to Christ to be saved, but it’s much harder to give up everything and stop relying on things to save you when you have a lot of things you think can save you.

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Here is the portion that is for us.  The disciples get it, they realize their problem.  Look, say there is a rich man, who has everything he needs, and he feels absolutely no need to harm his fellow man in any way. He gives generously, governs justly, and is merciful.  Will he go to heaven?  NO! The disciples ask, well if not him, then who?  And Jesus tells them that they cannot save themselves, but God can save them. It’s utterly impossible to be good enough, to have enough, to do enough. God requires us to be perfect, and that is why we must come to God to be saved.  He sent His son to die on the cross, and He took our punishment so that what was once impossible might become not only possible, but certain.  Trust God, believe in His son Jesus and you will be saved.

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