Summary: Today we will observe Jesus being asked this question: “What must I do to live forever?” Even if you think you know what’s coming, hang on, you may be surprised! There may be some facets to the answer that you aren’t familiar with, and they may explain w

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Mark 10:17-31


Throughout his history, man’s quest has been the answer to this question: “How can I live forever?”

It used to be mummification and the fountain of youth.

Today, for $100,000 you can be frozen ($50,00 for head only)

SI reports that Ted Williams was just decapitated…

Or, there’s always liposuction and new vitamins and minerals.

Some talk of “leaving a legacy”

Other put their grave stone in view of the road.

Man is desperate to find the keys to immortality.

What is God’s answer to this question?


Today we will discover God’s answer to this question, as we observe Jesus being asked this very question: “What must I do to live forever?”

Now, you’re in church, so you probably have an idea what answer we will give. But even if you think you know what’s coming, hang on, you may be surprised! There may be some facets to the answer that you aren’t familiar with, and they may explain why your life doesn’t “feel” like eternal life.

If you are earnestly seeking the answer to this question, wait until you hear what God’s answer is…

Its all found in Mark, chapter 10, beginning with vv. 17-18.

A. A man comes to Jesus looking for eternal life

A man runs up to Jesus. Later we will discover that he is a very wealthy man. Matthew, in his account, tells us he is rather young, and Luke says he is a ruler. A picture of success and achievement, a real go-getter.

He is earnest, too. He shows great respect and sincerity.

This is unusual in the young and wealthy.

Illus.: Andrew’s wedding; the Beach Club

His question is “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

He’s come to that place where he thinks, hopes that there is something more to life than he has so far.

Eternal life – more than just everlasting life!

Let’s look at Jesus’ initial response in verse 18.

B. Jesus points him to the proper source of life

“Why do you call me good? Only God is good!”

Doesn’t that sound a little testy?

Like, “whoa, dude, take a celebrex.”

But his reply isn’t testy, its intentional.

He reframes the question:

You think you have come to (as far as you know) a “good teacher” who can impart to you some secret, some pearl, some key to eternal life.

Only one can do that – God!

The fact that Jesus goes on and gives him the key has definite implications…

First things first – if you are going to look for real life, for eternal life, you must look to the proper source.

C. Often we look to the wrong sources for life

How often are we like this man? We really want life, eternal life, but we don’t look for it in the right places:

We think a certain job or accomplishment will do it.

We think a certain level of education will do it.

We think a certain relationship will do it.

Maybe you find yourself channel surfing on a Saturday morning, and instead of watching something wholesome, like a show on trout fishing or turkey hunting, you keep flipping back to that infomercial where some guy promises you the “keys to success” or “the life you’ve always wanted.”

The business world is full of people running to ‘gurus’ looking for answers – Suze Orman, etc.

Jesus serves notice here that the only place you can find the key to life, real, eternal life, is from God himself.

And the fact is many of us here today are looking to sources other than God…

By the way, eternal life is possible!

If we want to find eternal life, we must first:


Jesus says, in effect, you will never find what you are looking for if you keep looking in the wrong place.

Transition: Okay, so no big surprise that at church they told you that to find eternal life you must start with God. But what he says next might surprise you. Let’s read what he says, and the man’s response in Mark 10:19-20.

A. Jesus invites the man to give up his religion

After setting the framework, that eternal life comes only from God, Jesus goes on and replies to the man’s specific question: “What must I do?”

Jesus gives the answer that all good rabbi’s would give: Keep the Law!

The man sincerely responds: “All these I have kept”

“I’ve done it – I’ve followed the religious rules to the ‘T’. But I still have a nagging in my soul, an insecurity, I sense that the performance of religion isn’t enough.”

As we read v.21, notice how Jesus invites this man to go beyond religious observance.

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