There was a preacher who was an avid golfer. Every chance he got, he could be found on the golf course swinging away. It was his obsession. One Sunday was a picture-perfect day for golf. The preacher was in a quandary as to what to do. The urge to play golf overcame him. He called his assistant minister and told him that he was sick and could not attend church. Then he packed up the car, and drove three hours to a golf course where no one would recognize him. Happily, he began to play the course.
An angel up above was watching the preacher and was quite perturbed. He went to God and said, "Look at that preacher. He should be punished for what he’s doing." God nodded in agreement.
The preacher teed up on the first hole. He swung, and the ball sailed through the air and landed right in the cup three hundred and fifty yards away; perfect hole-in-one! The preacher was amazed and excited. The angel was a little shocked. He turned to God and said, "Begging Your pardon, but I thought you were going to punish him." God smiled. "Who’s he going to tell?"
2. Last week we talked about our Nature and the battle within. This week we see it play out in our Expectations
3. Mark 10:13-31
a. Jesus’ Interaction with children – Mark 10:13-16
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
b. Jesus’ Interaction with the “Rich Young Ruler” – Mark 10.17-22
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
c. Notice the RYR’s sense of expectation in his question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
I. Characteristics pf the Rich Young Ruler
1. “Wealthy” – He had options and independence
2. “Ruler” (Luke 18.18) – Influential/Respected
3. Moral and Trustworthy (kept commandments)
4. Young (Matthew 19.22) – His whole life ahead of him
5. Courage – RAN to Jesus in daylight, in public (not like Nicodemus at night)
6. Humble – Knelt (used to people kneeling before him)
1. Spiritually Incomplete – “Something is Missing”
2. Spiritually Immature – Kept commands – What about “no other gods”?
3. Spiritually Independent
a. “What must I do?” – How the independent fix things;
b. Better: “What Must I be?” Too many try to do what they aren’t being.
II. Unrealistic Expectations of the Rich Young Ruler (He expected an answer to his question)
A. I Get to be an Exception
1. Jesus loved and challenged the RYR
2. RYR kept SOME commands – what about “No other gods”?
3. It’s not wrong to have wealth; it’s wrong to let wealth have you.
B. My Wealth Means God’s Approval
1. If I’m good en0ough nothing bad will happen – seen in possessions and blessings
2. What happens when things do go wrong?
C. He will Answer My Prayers My Way
1. RYR didn’t get the answer he wanted
2. He turned away
III. The Realistic Expectations for the RYR (and Us)
A. Love of Christ (10.31)
1. This is the real reason for challenging him/us
2. We are independent – UNTIL – the bottom falls out, THEN we turn to God
3. Go & Sell; Come & Follow – We can’t have 2 Masters
B. Reality of Christ
1. Jesus knew the man’s issue
2. There is no cover up; no hypocrisy (acting)
C. The Truth of Christ – John 14.6; Galatians 4.16
D. Result in Blessings of What We Need More than What We Want
1. Reactions in the Story:
a. RYR was GRIEVED (and Jesus let him go)
b. Disciples were ASTONISHED (vv.23-26)
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?”
c. Your reaction? Cheer for him? Feel sorry for him? If so, at what point? Shows who you are.
2. Steps to Fulfilling the Realistic Expectations:
a. Do not Expect Fulfillment in Possessions (v. 25)
b. Expect fulfillment only from Jesus (v. 27)
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
c. Give all to Him and receive more than you imagine (vv. 28-31)
28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
3. “To receive all God has for you, you must give all you have to God.”
4. How are you doing with your expectations of God and God’s expectations of you?