Summary: A call to complete surrender of all we are to Jesus Christ


True Discipleship is Total Surrender

Mark 10:13-31

1. Tom in Philippines

Greg’s trip report last week – We arrived and we were overwhelmed by the place. His first session with us ‘you must do whatever I say – if you are on fast break and I say get in the jeep you don’t even finish the lay up – you just get out of there’.

There was no question that we would obey – disobedience was not an issue we would even consider – his word was law to us.

It was a dangerous place 15 years ago

– team that was shot at

– team in Zamboanga

– NPA threats – I was 21 and was finding this exciting!

I think we would have stripped naked and turned cartwheels if that was the order of the day. And that would have been hard because I’m not good at cartwheels!

But we knew that during that time we were under his command – we were his servants – we did whatever he said – and we were also his responsibility – he was caring for us. We knew that he would have taken a bullet for us.

He was completely devoted to us and our wellbeing. So we would do whatever he asked.

2. At the prayer meetings a couple of weeks back we felt God was saying something similar things to us as a church. As the time came to an end we felt God calling us to be totally surrendered to him – to let go of control of our own lives and to give that to him. And at the same time he was saying there is no need to fear. That there was no need to be afraid of what he might ask of us or where he might take us. Because he loves us. He is devoted to us.

Simple stuff really, but maybe stuff we need to hear again and again and again- because we receive other messages again and again and again.

As we prayed we felt God saying he wants all of our hearts and all of our lives and all of our dreams and he’s saying you can trust me – there is no need to be afraid. I want the best for you. In some ways it’s a call back to basics – or forward to basics.

This morning as we consider this kind of following of Jesus – and what God is saying to us, let me take you back to a very familiar story in the book of Mark where Jesus has an encounter with a man who wants eternal life. Its in Mk ch 10.

As we read Mark’s story the man isn’t given a name – all we are told is that he was very wealthy, he was still young and he was powerful – he was a ‘ruler’. It is likely he had heard that Jesus had this thing available – this eternal life – and he wanted to get in on it. He had everything else so why not this? I wonder if he came to Jesus seeking what his money couldn’t buy and his power couldn’t get him. He was used to getting what he wanted.

As we read the gospels its always important to keep in mind that the writer is telling a complete story so as we read this short account Jesus meeting with this man, we need to put it back in its context and see what surrounds it. I think that story that precedes it is important to what Mark is trying to say to us.

Back a few verses in v.13 Mark tells of how people were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. He writes {14} When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. {15} I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." {16} And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Jesus says to his disciples that the kids are a living picture of the kind of trust and acceptance that is needed to be one of his followers. He says the kingdom of God belongs to people like these – people who respond like children. As we read on I think we will see that there is a connection between this incident and what happens next. In fact it’s a stark contrast.

Here there is the uncluttered simplicity of a child’s heart – the kind of following Jesus is seeking – and then in the story we’re about to read we will see the complications and tangles that are part of the adult experience. The obstacles to faith that we face but that kids wouldn’t know of.

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Larry Thornton

commented on Oct 11, 2006

I particularly liked the honesty of the writer. He put himself in the place of the rich young ruler and concluded it would be a hard choice to give up everything.

David Jankowski

commented on Jun 18, 2014

A realistic and powerful challenge. If we're in the last days, events will winnow the field for the church.

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