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In his book called “The Case for Faith.” Lee Strobel wrote; “If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error, if good never battles with evil, how can faith know it own power. He said, in his own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naive faith that has never been battle tested on the firing line of doubt, I will choose the former everytime.”
As I think about this statement by Mr. Strobel, I have concluded that I too like to have the assurance that my personal faith in Jesus Christ has been battle tested and sure, which allows me to remove myself from every situation and trust God for a miracle. But everyone doesn’t have that type of faith. Now I believe that every person has faith, but everyone’s faith is not great nor is it the size of a mustard seed. In fact some people have more faith in the problem, than the promises of God.
In the text we find a rich young ruler who has come to Jesus and asked “What shall he do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus called to his attention what he was taught in the synagogue. Jesus said, “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, and Honor thy father and mother.” And the young ruler informed Jesus that he had kept those thing since his youth. That is when Jesus let him know that he still lacked one thing, He said to sell all that he had and distribute it unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and follow me. But the young ruler much like many who says they have faith, was sadden because he cared for his riches more than he cared to have eternal life.
So, let’s unpack this text and see how our impossibilities, are God’s possibilities.
First of all...
1. HIS QUESTION WAS RHETORICAL IN NATURE (V.18)
“And a certain ruler asked Him, saying Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal Life?”
As we listen to this young man. We can truly hear the voice of one that really wanted to know what it took to have eternal life. The sincerity was there, but he did not weigh the cost of the possible answer. He knew that from a child in synagogue that there were certain things taught him, and many of them he kept, but never in his worse dream did he think that he was not doing enough. His faith in God was unquestionable. In fact he had some kind of faith in Jesus because he called Him, Good Master, a name only given to God. But he did not realize that following Jesus came with a cost, and that cost he was not willing to pay. So his question at best was rhetorical, because what he was about to hear was not the reply he was hoping to get. After all before Jesus came on the scene, what he was taught in synagogue was the requirement to reach the heart of God, but now that Jesus was there and in active ministry, there was a price to be paid for eternal life and as we will see that price this young ruler was not willing to pay.
Secondly . . .
2. HE CARED FOR THE THINGS THAT WERE TEMPORAL, MORE THAN HIS QUEST FOR ETERNAL LIFE(v.22 & 23)
“Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing. Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.
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