Summary: As fathers, men, husbands we need to exchange our point of view for Gods. The cutlural viewpoint is distorted and diseased. Let Jesus show you what it means to be a real man. A real father.
Intro: The question from the Pharisees, the rebuke from the disciples, and the rejection of Jesus by the rich man are clear indications of a great need for changing our point of view. I believe you will see as we teach this passage today that the reason there are so many problems with fathers, husbands, men, is a wrong point of view. There is God’s point of view clearly communicated in His Word and mans point of view communicated by way of cultural standards.
I. Viewpoint on marriage: Covenant commitment vs. comfort
The Pharisees questioned Jesus and try to back Him in a corner. They asked the wrong question. They were too focused on the action and not the motivation for action. The Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus in a discussion about divorce. Jesus defeated them with a command about marriage.
The Pharisees were looking at marriage as a comfort and convenience. Jesus revealed it is a commitment of a man to a woman to communicate oneness.
(Read Matthew 19.4-6)
Issue of Protection: Matthew 19.8 “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts.”
There is a great deal of difference between permitted and commanded.
It was the men’s hard hearts that led Moses to give a bill of divorcement. The men of Moses and Jesus’ day could go so far as to divorce their wives over burnt toast. It was a verbal divorce that left the wife without any protection and she would be seen as an adulterer if she remarried. It didn’t matter if the woman was innocent or not she was left with no protection.
The husband was not protecting his wife. Men if you are a husband and a father you have a three fold office. Prophet, Priest, Protector (King). If your heart is right you will fulfill all three.
Love is a choice. The obvious problem was that the men are not loving their wives. Any relationship takes work and lots of it. The only way you can work through some issues is with love. Choosing to give your spouse something they often don’t deserve – you!
How do we know that the problem of a lack of love for a spouse is still a problem? George Barna recently reported that divorce rates among evangelical born-again Christians is lower than atheists and agnostics at 26%. However, the fact that one quarter of all Bible believing born-again followers of Christ marriages end in divorce reveals there is still a heart problem today.
Heart issue: Hardness of heart – lack of love
Women you’re not off the hook.
II. Viewpoint on children: Blessing vs. burden (Matthew 19.13-15)
What a wonderful picture and example of God’s love as a father. Jesus didn’t just invite the children for a photo opportunity or to look good. He was actually rejecting the cultural view of children of His day.
Jesus disciples were practicing the principle that children are to be seen and not heard.
Jesus gives us fathers a powerful lesson in investing in the Kingdom and our children.
A) He was available
His schedule was not more important than blessing the children
B) He was approachable
The children were not too insignificant for him. The adult ministry was not more important to Jesus. In fact the famous quote “the Kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this.”
Truth: While the Pharisees and others were trying to trick Jesus and use Him for magic tricks the children were just enjoying His presence.
C) He was realistic
What children need to feel loved: Children need us to provide them with reachable goals or expectations.
1) Tina’s Grandpas funeral and what her dad remembered
2) Ferris and Eric talking about their dad’s training them
3) What bill remembers
Heart issue: Disciples rebuked Jesus. The disciples rejected Jesus view of relationships. Salvation (relationship with God) has no age barrier associated with it.
III. Viewpoint on God: Eternal Relationship vs. Earthly riches
The rich young ruler did well while He thought there was something he could do to obtain eternal life. The young man himself acknowledged he lacked something by agreeing that God alone was good. When Jesus revealed to Him that he needed to sell all he had and become dependent on God the Father and follow Jesus with no worldly possessions he become sorrowful. The man thought he had kept God’s law from His youth but when faced with loving his neighbor as Himself he failed. He may have kept the letter of the law but not the heart or intent of the law.
Anything that keeps you from bowing to and following Jesus is an Idol. The young man wanted a teacher not a savior. To follow Jesus requires sacrifice and service to others.