Summary: The power that controlled the rich young ruler kept him from experiencing Jesus' vision for his life.
A Luke 18.18-30
1 We know from Dr. Luke’s account (& from Matthew & Mark) that our man is 1) rich, 2) young and 3) ruler.
a Young (24-40 years old) meant he probably came from a family with money.
b Ruler meant he was in charge, authority, respect, possibly a member of the Sanhedrin.
2 This was The Bachelor, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaires rolled up into one guy!
B The phrase “great wealth” means abundant, more than exceeds normal.
1 He’s not one of us. We’re not rich, maybe not you or a leader.
a No matter how much wealth he had, he could not . . .
aa Ride in a car, wash dishes under running water,
bb Have surgery, buy penicillin
cc Watch t.v., surf the internet
dd Sleep on airspring mattress, talk on a cell phone.
b If he was rich then what are you and I?
2 He was from a class of people who typically were very suspicious of Jesus.
a Pharisees, Nicodemus (midnight rendevous), & the RYR would walk away/turn his face of Jesus.
b Jesus attracted prostitutes, drunkards/addicts, sick, poor, wretched, blind, crippled, demonical possed/oppressed, outcasts.
c Ever wondered why the church today shuns & shuts the doors in a silent “your kind isn’t welcome here” to the very ones Jesus attracted?
aa We want the RYR tithe, respect, presence.
bb Addict? Living in sin? Coming out of witchcraft? Disease? Hurting? Broken?
C His coming to Jesus tells us three things about himself.
1 He felt inadequate (v.18)
a He knew he didn’t have all his stuff together.
b No matter how good looking, how much money, how much influence . . . I need something else because what I have isn’t enough.
2 He sided with the Pharisees (Sadducees didn’t believe in afterlife)
3 He believe he had to do something to earn salvation (v.18, 21)
a Follow the commandments (last 6 btw)
aa Matt. 19.18,19
bb Commandments were man to man; Good guy.
b He could never be good enough, do enough good! (He misunderstood how to be saved.)
D This verse has caused so many to struggle & fret over what they do for the Kingdom. (Luke 18.22)
1 It grabs our attention because it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s kinda not what I was looking for. Isn’t this kinda sudden?”
a IL. Years ago Byron Preston was sick and I went to visit him at his house and before I left I asked, “If there is anything I can do for you let me know, okay?”
aa Thanks, Mike. Would you mind painting my house?
bb I felt like the RYR, “Not what I was expecting you ask of me.”
b How can Jesus ask this young guy to sell his possessions to come follow him? HE KNEW THAT MONEY WAS THE THING THAT HAD CONTROL OVER HIM.
aa It wasn’t the fact that this man had possessions it was the fact that this man’s possessions possessed him.
bb Spiritually bankrupt!
2 Before I go any further: Jesus wasn’t setting this guy up for failure! (Mark 10:21) Jesus loved this guy.
a I believe He saw his potential, charisma, heart, passion, worth.
aa Jn 21.22; Mark 8.34; Matt. 4.19
cc “Come, follow me.”
b Jesus was asking this man to come and be one of the disciples. (Big 12, Apostles: Experience signs, miracles, wonders, resurrection, Pentecost)
aa Jesus wasn’t trying to trap the rich young ruler, He was calling him into the ministry.
bb But Jesus knew there wasn’t room for the power of God and the power of possessions in the man’s life.
E Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone?(v. 19).
1 In the ANE Jews didn’t call anyone “good” but God and if the RYR was calling Jesus “good” then was he really calling/confessing Him as God?
a Jesus isn’t denying His deity but He’s making sure the RYR gets it.
b What Jesus is about to do is rock this guys world, put a calling on his life, clean house!
2 Apparently the man didn’t understand, grasp the truth because he could release what had power/control over him.
a His hang up was money, yours maybe different.
b Sex, drugs, anger, bitterness, criticalness, weight, spending, tv, pornography, lying, etc.
3 The power that controlled RYR kept him from experiencing Jesus’ vision & mission for his life.
a The disciples (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter) didn’t get fully get who Jesus was.
aa Luke 9.45; Jn. 8.45; 10.6; 12.16;13.7;20.9
bb They didn’t get everything Jesus said but they stayed!
b They committed their lives to learning & traveling with Him for the long haul.
4 The RYR couldn’t walk away from what he held dear.