Mark 10:17-27 - October 2, 2005 - Pentecost 20

Dear Fellow-Redeemed & Saints in the Lord:

All things are possible with God. Today our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ teaches us that even the impossible becomes possible. Maybe in your lifetime you have seen the impossible become possi-ble. If not in your lifetime maybe in your parentsí lifetime the impossible became possible. There were many things that were impossible but became possible since the turn of the century. In the early 1900ís nobody thought about flying. It wasnít long when the Wright brothers invented the airplane. It wasnít long, not even in the 1950ís yet, where the people thought about walking on the moon was impossible. However, in the late1970ís people did just that. The impossible had become possible. Maybe there are many impossible things in your life that you can remember that became possible.
Those examples were just what man can do. Think about what God does--how the Lord God easily makes the impossible become possible. We were born into this world as enemies of God. In spite of that fatal flaw, God makes us his children, members of his heavenly family. The impossible becomes possible. It is all by Godís grace. Paul describes Godís grace in Ephesians when he writes: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not of works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). This is what Jesus is teaching in our text today--his saving grace, that
I. Not by our works
II. Not by our wealth
III. But by Godís grace

A young man comes to Jesus and his disciples. The disciples are with Jesus to hear all the questions of the young man and the answer Jesus gives. Maybe at the very beginning of our text you noticed the flaw or the mistaken idea of this man when he asked his question. "As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him." It seems as though he was going to wor-ship Jesus; but yet, he says, "íGood teacher,í he asked, íwhat must I do to inherit eternal life?í" There is the fatal flaw of this young man. "What must I do?" This man was putting the emphasis on himself and what he could do to save himself. As we get to the end of our text, we find out this is impossible. Man cannot save himself.
Jesus what the man was looking for. Jesus told the man there were a lot of things he could do. He says first of all: "You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother." If you remember from confirmation class, this is the second table of the law, which says to love your neighbor as your-self. Jesus didnít even talk about loving God. Why didnít Jesus mention this? Partly, because this man was looking at himself so much that he forgot to look to God.