The First Shall Be Last
Sermon shared by Gordon Curley
Summary: Jesus and the rich young ruler - Mark chapter 10 verses 17-31. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Audience: General adults
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(A). The Mans qualities:
He was Enthusiastic (vs 17)
He was humble (vs.17)
He had courage (vs 17)
He showed discernment (vs 17)
He was spiritually aware (vs 17)
He was moral (vs 20)
He was religious (vs 19-20)
(B). The Mans failure:
He loved his possessions & riches (vs 21)
He was unwilling to renounce them (vs 22)
• If I asked you who was the first man in space?
• Most of you know that it was the Russian Yuri Gagarin.
• But who was the second man in space? Most of us do not know! (American John Glenn)
• If I asked you who was the first man to walk on the moon?
• Most of you know that it was Neil Armstrong.
• But who was the second man on the moon? Most people don’t know! (Buzz Aldrin)
• If I asked you who was the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes?
• Most of you know that it was Roger Bannister.
• But who was the second man to run the mile in under 4 minutes? (John Landy)
• If I asked you who were the first men to conquer Mount Everest?
• Most of you know that it was Edmund Hillary, and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay,
• But who did it after them? Your guess is as good as mine!
Most of know who did ‘a thing’ first, because there is something about being first!
• ill: Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon;
• On the 26th July 1967.
• In total only 12 people have ever walked on the moon;
• The last person was on, Apollo 17, in December 1972.
• His name was Harrison Schmitt but most of us have never heard of him!
• We know the first bit, but most of us don’t know or have no interest in the last one;
• There is something about being first!
In our passage this morning:
• Jesus once again turns human understanding and insight around,
• In verse 31 he answers a remark that Peter the disciple fired at him,
• Peter tells Jesus that he and the other disciples have given up everything to follow Jesus;
• Jesus replies with the words: “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
If I can paraphrase these words of Jesus:
“You have left everything Peter,
But remember you have not lost those things you have invested them!
Many who are the greatest now i.e. have the things of this world, money, houses, honour etc. will be least important in God’s kingdom,
and those who seem least important now will be the greatest in God’s kingdom.”
All this reaction from Peter comes out of an encounter Jesus had with a rich young ruler:
• We will look at this story in a moment;
• The rich young ruler was a man who appeared to have everything!
• Yet after his encounter with Jesus he walked away spiritually bankrupt;
• And not right with God.
Quote: Leon Morris:
“It was commonly held that riches were a sign of God’s blessing, so that the rich man had the best opportunity of the good things of the next world as of this…if the rich with all their advantages can scarcely be saved, what hope is therefore others?
Jesus makes it clear that there is none. But what man cannot do God can. Salvation, for rich or poor is always a miracle of divine grace. It is always a gift”.
• So Peter the disciple looks at this man and panics and he says out loud;
• “If this man with all his advantages in this life cannot be saved;
• What hope is there for
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