Summary: Jesus is calling us to radical discipleship.
A Messiah Who Asks Tough Questions
Text: Matt. 19:16-30
1. Illustration: Video of a Father answering tough questions from his little girl. www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYUXLO1j_sw
2. Just as we have children who ask us tough questions, we also have a messiah who asks us tough questions.
3. Jesus asks us...
a. Are the basics enough?
b. Are you willing to go the extra mile?
c. Do you see the big picture?
4. Read Matt. 19:16-30
Proposition: Jesus is calling us to radical discipleship.
Transition: Jesus first question to us is...
I. Are Basics Enough (16-20)?
A. Keep the Commandments
1. There is nothing quite like a seeker. Someone who trully is seeking to understand life and the purpose God put them here for. However, some people can't deal with the answers they receive.
2. Some people are just looking for an easy way out. Like this young man who comes to Jesus and says, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
a. The fact that the man addresses Jesus as "teacher" indicates that he didn't fully grasp Jesus' identity.
b. However, there is nothing in the text to indicate that he was in anyway being insincere (Turner, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Matthew, 251).
c. The good deed the man must do is show his fidelity toward God's covenant by obeying his laws.
d. These laws were part of first-century Jewish culture, and the young man is convinced that he has kept them, as many of us have avoided breaking the laws of our society (Keener).
e. However, a closer look at the text shows what the young man was really asking.
f. Notice that good deed is singular and not plural.
g. In other words, he is asking Jesus for one thing that he can do to assure himself of eternal life.
h. He is looking for an easy way out; to pay up his fire insurance.
i. He is not interested in becoming a disciple, but rather to do one great deed that will get him off the hook.
3. However, Jesus never makes things that easy. He tells the young man, “Why ask me about what is good?” There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
a. The reason that Jesus asks this question is that he is trying to get the young man to focus not on his own good deeds but on the goodness of God.
b. The very fact God gives us commandments is evidence of his goodness. He gives them to us because he wants us to be in right relationship with him (Turner, 251).
c. Jesus gets the young man to focus on God alone as the Good, to whom he must come to gain eternal life.
d. Jesus is not denying he is good or that he is equal with God, but he is trying to get the rich young man to see that only in understanding God as good can he discover that good deeds beyond the law do not obtain eternal life.
e. Jesus takes the young man back to obeying the law as the expression of belief in the truly good being.
f. The good God has written his good will for his people.
g. Connected to the preceding discussion of entering the kingdom of heaven as a child, the rich young man should display obedience to the law as the source of all good, including eternal life.
h. This is not to earn life eternal; rather, it is humbly to obey the law in childlike faith in God's goodness (Wilkins).
4. Again, the young man really doesn't grasp what Jesus is trying to say. So ask Jesus, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
a. He wanted Jesus to assign some specific good deed to assure his salvation.
b. However, Jesus response indicates that it doesn't work like that. He tells him to keep the commandments, but the ones that he mentions are those that deal with being good to others.
c. In other words, you can't just do one good thing and look upon it as a "get out of hell free" card. You have to live a life of righteousness.
d. With unblinking confidence, the young man (identified for the first time as "young") declares that he has kept them all.
e. And he does not mean only those commandments cited by Jesus, for he understands these commandments as representative of the entire law. His obedience to the law is complete (Wilkins).
5. Yet, even the young man acknowledges that this is not enough. He tells Jesus, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments. What else must I do?”