Summary: People want a Saviour, but not a Lord; God will only be Saviour and Lord, nothing less.
PEOPLE ARE WANTING A SAVIOUR – NOT A LORD…
BUT GOD WILL ONLY BE SAVIOUR AND LORD – NOTHING LESS
LET’S EXPLORE THIS STORY FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
This seems to have been a rather unfair encounter with the rich young man – don’t you think?
Perhaps we might feel it was right that Jesus hit him in the pocket – where it would hurt
Perhaps we might nod our heads and agree that – fortunately God has dealt with us as far as riches and wealth are concerned
And we have no problem with money or wealth
But this story goes a little deeper than that
Jesus was not simply addressing this man’s issues with wealth
1. THIS MAN APPEARS TO HAVE COME FOR WISE COUNSEL
Did he think there was something missing?
It may well be
He knew what was required of him in terms of the Law – and was a model Jew, it seems – at least in his own opinion
SO WHY ASK THE QUESTION? “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Was he insecure? Was there a deep hunger for something more? I’M NOT SO SURE
Perhaps he needed some affirmation
Someone to pat him on the back and tell him “Well done!”
Someone of authority who would proclaim what a model citizen of Judaism he was
2. BUT JESUS SHIFTS OUR FOCUS
By shifting this man’s focus
He points to an issue – in this case, his wealth – and makes demands of him
He does not do it to embarrass this man – in V21 – Jesus looked at him and loved him.
Jesus saw into his heart – just as he sees into our hearts as well
In this man he saw all the potential of a person who might be dedicated to God if he was willing to have a Lord as well as a Saviour
NOW – when Jesus makes this demand – are we to suppose that Christ’s demand would save this man? By him giving all his money away?
NO! – Not at all!
He could give everything away – and still be in the same condition
This is typical of many “converts” they say the words of salvation – but their lives deny the presence of a Lord
CHRIST IS PRESENT AS SAVIOUR – ULTIMATELY - ONLY WHERE HE CAN BE PRESENT AS LORD AS WELL
What was going to ultimately work salvation in this man’s life - was the abandoning of self and trust in self, - the leaving behind of the things of this world
…Believing that it was going to be alright after he gave away every visible means of support in this world
Then to follow Jesus in complete trust – to be a disciple – a devoted follower and pupil of Jesus
3. NOW…WE SEE THAT THIS MAN WAS NOT LOOKING FOR A LORD – HE WAS LOOKING FOR A SAVIOUR
After Jesus makes this demand, V22 tells us that he was “SAD” – why?
Because he wanted a Saviour – but not a Lord
But you can’t have one without the other
4. HOW HARD IT IS TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Look at V23-26…
"Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ’How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, ’Children, how hard it isb to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ’Who then can be saved?’
Why is it so difficult? Simply because he was rich?
NO – because his riches provided him with enough security in this life to get by without a great deal of SUBMISSION and COMMITMENT
The disciples, we are told were amazed at what Jesus was saying
They were so amazed that they ask this puzzling question: “Who then can be saved?”
Why would they – people of relatively little financial standing - say this?
Because in Judaism riches were a mark of God’s favor and thus an advantage, not a barrier, in relation to God’s kingdom.
So – we can understand that if Jesus was eliminating those who possibly were “closer” to God – then what of them!?
This idea of wealth being a sign of great faith has always been with us – it seems
It just so happened that wealthy people lived in another zone – a place where Lordship did not feature very much
The issue is that being ‘saved’ and the idea of eternal life with God, is entered into now by accepting God’s rule in one’s earthly life.