Summary: Man has tried to discount the cost of being a true follower of Jesus Christ. Being a disciple costs something of us - we must be willing to sell all to follow Him.
Since the very beginning of time, man has responded to the Lord in many ways. In the Garden, Adam and Eve tried to redefine what our responsibility to a Holy God looks like. Then came men like: Cain, Jonah, Saul, Judas and others who continued this attitude of mediocrity and disobedience.
God requires every one of us to face this issue regarding our position with Him. The church has long segregated mankind into two categories. We refer to these as “saved, and lost,” “believers, and unbelievers,” “churched, and un-churched,” “Christian, and sinner.” Scripture even refers to these two classes as “sheep and goats.” And even among those who have accepted Christ, we have varying degrees of dedication within the church.
We have many who have accepted Christ, and are faithful in their attendance. Nearly all in the church understand the call to tithe, and to give sacrificially of their resources. But, there are very few who are “sold-out” for Jesus Christ, and for His cause. Very few who have sold all, and followed Him
As we consider those who have strayed from God’s standard of a whole heart, a whole mind, a whole being approach to service and worship, we would do well to learn from those who stayed the course and remained faithful. Men such as Enoch, and Simeon, among others.
In Scripture we find many accounts of those who were called upon to assess their position with a holy God. Paul, on the Road to Damascus, said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Agrippa said, “Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” It is likely that there is someone here today who has found themselves in that position – Almost Christian. It is easy to come to church and carry your Bible. It is easy to listen to the Sunday School lessons, and the preaching. Even the hymns are easy to sing along with. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof… We find a young man in that same condition in our text this morning.
This man is known as “the rich young ruler.” He has this distinction because of the combined picture gleaned from the synoptic gospels.
He was young (Matthew 19:20).
He was a ruler (Luke 18:18).
He was a rare young man among the people of his day. This is seen in two facts.
1. He was conscientious, responsible, dependable—traits so often lacking in the youth of his day. He had already been placed into a position of leadership.
2. He was eagerly seeking eternal life—a spiritual matter often shunned by the young people like himself.
The dominant theme of the young man’s experience is his sincerity - his desperate search for eternal life. Jesus takes the man’s desperation and shocks the world. Desperation, sincerity, eagerness, and seeking eternal life are not enough. To inherit eternal life takes much more than just being desperate to possess it. Man has a problem in seeking eternal life.
Turn with me in your copy of God’s Word to Mark 10:17-22: And
But even more than being a wealthy man, a dignified man, Luke says he was a “ruler.” The Greek word for ruler is the word ar-khone, and it means “prince or magistrate.” He was a man with authority. He was a religious man. He had been trained in the Law, and knew the teachings of the prophets. He knew about church.
This man was sincere when he came to Jesus. In this passage we see:
I. This Young Man Sought Jesus (10:17). The scene was striking. A rich young man sought Jesus—sought Him with a sense of urgency and desperation seldom seen.
A. The man was eager, ever so eager: he was running to Jesus.
B. The man was humble: he cast himself to the ground, kneeling before Jesus, showing extreme reverence. He esteemed Jesus ever so highly. He bowed the knee to Him.
C. The man was respectful: he addressed Jesus as “Good Master,” which was the proper and courteous address to a revered Rabbi or Teacher.
D. The man was concerned about his spiritual welfare. He asked what he should do to inherit eternal life.
The young man demonstrated how we should seek eternal life. He did exactly what we should do when we wish anything: seek it. But in seeking, there is something critical. We must go to the right source. This is exactly what the rich young man did: (a) he approached Jesus, the Source of eternal life; and (b) he asked, confessing his need.
Note two things about the young man’s seeking eternal life.
A. He believed that there was such a thing as eternal life. He believed there was life in another world, and he was sincere and eager (perhaps desperate) to receive it. He “came running and kneeled” before Jesus.