Summary: Oswald Chambers spoke over 100 years ago prophetically of the time we are living in today. He said, “We are moving into a more spiritual but less Godly time.” There is a desperate need for the church today to surrender their life to Jesus. He tells us
Intro: Oswald Chambers spoke over 100 years ago prophetically of the time we are living in today. He said, “We are moving into a more spiritual but less Godly time.” God clearly tells us to be born again in John 3, we are told by Paul if we are in Christ we are a new creation. More people are claiming to be spiritual and Christians today so why is it so rare to see true spiritual, mental, moral, transformation?
According to George Barna only 1/5 of people that claim to be Christians live in a way that is completely dependent on God. Of those that claim to be Christians just 1/6 state total commitment to spiritual growth. Let me say that this way. It would be like saying on 1 out of every 6 married couples in here wanted to succeed in their relationship as husband and wife. 1/6 don’t want to be any closer to their spouse in the next year than they were last year.
Paul prayed in Ephesians that we would know the depth and breadth and width and height of God’s love. Guess what that only happens as you experience a closer relationship with Jesus. You don’t get the Love you neighbor understanding from superficial Christianity. In this passage Jesus uses paradox to teach us truths. Two become one (marriage), adults become children, the first shall be last, servant shall be rulers, the poor become rich.
The Lipizzaner stallions from Vienna Austria perform war dressage (practiced military) movements. The stallions are trained for years in the movements and leaps. The rider sits across the horse and commands him. It looks effortless. The rider must be strong and commanding. The stallion has placed himself in the service of the rider trainer. Each effortless movement is the result of the relationship between the master and the servant. When we give up superficial or shallow Christianity we offer ourselves to Jesus and join Him in service. His priorities become ours, his commands our loving duty not a heavy burden.
I) The rich young ruler’s request
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” What can we learn from his question?
A) A misunderstanding about Salvation
Jesus said on the cross tetelestai! It is finished only God who is perfect as He is could pay the price to forgive man of sin. There is no work good enough to move us 1 step closer to God. Isaiah tells us our righteousness is as filthy rags. “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply ….”
Even though they had the record of Job the Jews and many today believe that wealth equaled spiritual righteousness. God alone grants salvation to those who humble themselves and recognize their need and then receive the free gift of God.
B) A misunderstanding about the Savior
Jesus is not good because of what He did!! Jesus is good because of who He is! The good things that come from your life are only an outpouring of the life of God.
II) The response of Jesus
A) A matter of the love of God (Mark 10.21)
Jesus doesn’t see us as we are. Jesus looked passed the faults and sins of this man and loved him. Yet that didn’t stop him from sharing a stinking truth. “This one thing you still lack.” 10.29 Jesus adds persecutions as one of the rewards of those who give up all to follow Jesus. Jesus never offers the easy way he offers the way of the cross.
B) A mirror for the life of the young man (Mark 10.18-19)
According to Exodus 38.8 the bronze laver was made of women’s mirrors.
1) The laver’s water represents the word of God
2) The laver represents the person and work of Jesus
It wasn’t just the letter of the law but the intent of the heart that Jesus was addressing with the young man. (What about wealth?)
III) The rejection of the rich young ruler
A) The shock of the rich young ruler 10:22 “he was stunned at this demand”
How dare you ask me to give up the most important thing in my life my things! He was asked to give up trusting possessions and trust in the person and work of Jesus.
B) The sadness of rejecting Jesus 10:22 “He went away grieving”
The Greek word grieved gives us the picture of storm clouds gathering. He was in the presence of the light of the world but rejected it for the chaotic darkness of this world. The young man’s passion that pushed him toward Jesus was not enough to allow him to stay close. He disregarded cultural standards by running to Jesus. But he could not release the idol of wealth and power to take true wealth in a relationship with Jesus. The hope that he approached Jesus with is overshadowed by storm clouds of depression. Jesus didn’t pull punches. He tells the young ruler his problem is trusting something other than God. What is Jesus saying to you today?