Summary: The Lord answers Peter’s question.


Luke 18:18-30

By Cleavon Matthews

June 2004


He is mentioned by all three of the synoptic writers. Matthew describes him as a young man. Luke calls him a ruler and all three agree he is amazingly rich. His encounter with Jesus has been discussed and debated throughout the centuries. He is quite arguably one of the few men ever to fall at the feet of Jesus and leave in a worse condition than when he first came.

In the course of giving serious study to the elements of this man and his tragic talk with Jesus I begin trying to build a bridge from his ancient world to our contemporary world. Perhaps in the exegetical and hermeneutical analysis there was some profound truth to help men living in this time and place to be saved, satisfied, and successful. I was looking for something in the text to inform and inspire men to view life not from the impossible but rather through the possible! I was searching for something to connect and register with men not just on a feeling level but on a faith level.

There is nothing more devastating to a society and community than to have its men hopeless, aimless, and destroyed. When Pharaoh wanted to extend the tyranny of bondage for Israel and increase their subjection he issued an order to kill all the male children. We live in a time when men are targets, especially minorities! Therefore in order to reach men we must go beyond their muscle and into their heart and spirit.

In order to achieve and obtain the impossible the spirit of God and the spirit of man must meet! Listen to Paul: “But as it is written, eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).

In this rich young ruler the spirit of man meets with the spirit of God but he walks away because he cannot discern the possible. He can only see what appears to be impossible. We have the ministry of reconciliation. We must have the objective of arranging the meeting between the spirit of man and the spirit of God. Yes, without question we must seek to arrange this meeting between….

The finite and The Infinite

The created and the Creator

The condemned and the Comforter

The sinful and the Sinless

The wounded and the Healer

The shattered and the Savior

The defeated and the Deliverer

The judged and the Judge

The lost and the Redeemer

The crushed and the Captain

The miserable and the Merciful

The victimized and the Victor

The limited and the Limitless

The poor and the Rich

When God’s spirit connects with a man’s spirit he can begin to understand the things that are freely given to him of God. He can see the impossible. He can see what eyes, hath not seen. He can hear what ears have not heard. He can perceive things that have not entered into the heart of man. He can experience the things God has prepared for him. He can begin to understand the deep things of God!

When you meet a man whose spirit has connected to God’s spirit there is this born again affect! Paul put this way: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17). He is a new creation. He is a new man. He has and he is putting off fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affections, evil concupiscence, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication, and lying (Col 3:5-9). For this new man old things are passed away! He may look the same in his outward appearance. He will still need eyeglasses. He will still be balding or grey headed. He will still be short of stature. He will still be thin or thick. But in his spirit he is a new man! His lust has been replaced with love. His jiving has been replaced with joy. His perversion has been replaced with peace. His lewdness has been replaced with longsuffering. His greed has been replaced with gentleness. His guilt has been replaced with goodness. His fraudulence has been replaced with faith. His malignity has been replaced with meekness and his treachery has been replaced with temperance!

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