Summary: Just drop it! Whatever is holding you back, weighing you down, keeping you from Jesus. Just drop it!

Just Drop it!

Luke 18:18-29

Georgina Pando-Connolly

A minister gave an unusual sermon one day, using a peanut to make several important points about the wisdom of God in nature. One of the members greeted her at the door and said, "Very interesting, Pastor. I never expected to learn so much from a nut."...

We just saw the illustration with the children.

((In the children’s sermon we had released helium ballons at watched them rise, except for the ones who had favorite toys, coins and other weighted objects attached to them, which stayed close to the floor))

The balloons were held back by the load they carried.

Just drop it! Whatever is holding you back, weighing you down, keeping you from Jesus.

Just drop it!

The story of “The Rich Young Man” is found in all of the synoptic gospels. It’s the story of a man who has everything and wants to know how to inherit eternal life. After failing to follow the instructions of Jesus to sell everything and give it to the poor, the young man goes away sad. This incident then becomes the foundation for a parable about the grace of God.

While the issue of riches is central to this passage, be careful not to focus, as the disciples do, on riches alone. Truly in the gospels Jesus teaches God’s priority for the poor. Nevertheless, this story really is not about the issue of wealth — it is about trust in God’s ability to save.

We don’t know what the Kingdom of God is until we let go of the priorities that we ourselves establish.

Jesus’ love includes a challenge which the young man in our story cannot bring himself to figure out, let alone fulfill. So he goes away shocked and “grieving,” and the reader learns for the first time that he is wealthy.

Jesus’ love includes a challenge which we today must bring ourselves to figure out so that we too don’t go away from Jesus, grieving a loss greater than we can even comprehend.

Why is it so important for Jesus to speak about the wealth of this man? Could it be that we’re willing to let go of many things, but never the ultimate power that money gives us? Do you know that your pastors never get many negative comments except when we preach about money? “You toucha my pocketbook. . . !”. . . The most difficult to give up. But Jesus isn’t talking only about our finances here. He does not want our money only, He wants our all.

Yes, we are very, very rich but we are also very poor. Compared to other countries we have it all. In other countries people walk or ride bikes. Here we drive comfortable cars from here to the corner store and heaven forbid if we can’t find a parking space right in front of the door. We have it all and more. Yet we’re poor, because we do not want, long for the things that are really important.

In Ministry to the dying you learn what is really important in life. This is why this type of ministry is not only an honor, but a gift. As a person let’s go of all the material things, slowly they become lighter and lighter, emptying themselves to the marvelous things of the Spirit and begin to understand what it’s all about. As a very sick woman told her family this week. “It’s so sad, the many people who need prayer, but the more you pray for them the lighter they get.”

Just drop it! Brothers and sisters. Just drop whatever it is you’re clinging to that keeps you form experiencing Jesus to the fullest. Be it money, fame. Pride, anger, unforgiveness, fear, guilt. Drop whatever has you so comfortable. Become uncomfortable for the kingdom!

In our parable this morning we see that the wealthy young man is not the only one who is confused by Jesus’ words — the disciples don’t understand them either. People believe in a connection between wealth and success, and being blessed by God. Jesus dismisses this connection. Jesus teaches his disciples and us a deeper truth about God’s kingdom with this parable. The point of Jesus’ teaching is that it IS impossible. This impossibility leaves open only one possibility — that with God all things are possible (v. 27).

The issue of wealth does impact on our spiritual health, not because of what we have, but because we don’t want to let go . It is true then as well as now, that money becomes a “god” for many, but the real emphasis in this Gospel is on God’s grace. There is no prohibition against wealthy people in heaven. The shock and sadness of the young man is that because of his refusal to accept the call of Christ that is before him, he has missed the opportunity for a true blessing in the now.

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