Summary: This sermon shows us what is expected of us as believers.
Serving God 110%
Michael A. Huddlestun
Introduction: In life, there are a lot of things that if they are only done part way, then your results will not be satisfying. Such as cooking a steak, doing homework in school, shaving your face, or watching a movie. These are only a few small examples of things we must do all the way, if we are going to be truly satisfied with the results. One area that a lot of people don’t think about on a regular basis is serving God. Yet, the Bible tells us that unless we do it all the way, we will not enter the kingdom of God.
Today, we are going to be looking at the story of the rich young ruler. As we will see in this story, if we are not willing to give up everything to follow Jesus, then we need to look at our lives and rid them of whatever keeps us from serving Him. If you have your Bible with you today, I invite you to open it up to the book of Mark, chapter 10, beginning in verse 17 and reading until verse 31. I will be reading from the New American Standard Bible for this passage, so your words may differ slightly.
The Rich Young Ruler
17As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall 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, I have kept all these things from my youth up."
21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, " How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!"
24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard 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 man to enter the kingdom of God."
26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, "Then who can be saved?"
27 Looking at them, Jesus said, " With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
28 Peter began to say to Him, "Behold, 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 farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake,
30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.
31 "But many who are first will be last, and the last, first."
When we look at this passage we see a young man who desperately wants to find out what it takes to have eternal life. So, he goes to the one man who he feels will be able to answer his question. He runs to Jesus, like so many of us have done in our lives. What we see when this man runs up to Jesus is that he recognizes the fact that Jesus has great wisdom. The way we know this is that he addresses Jesus as Good Teacher. So Jesus told him what he expected to hear. Obey the commandments. Well this was simple enough as this rich young ruler was a Jew and therefore would have been taught the commandments from the time he was very young. I can picture this young man thinking, “If that is all I have to do, I have this eternal life thing locked up.”
What happened next this young man nor the disciples were expecting. Jesus tells him to go and sell everything he had and give it to the poor and then come and follow him. WHAT!!! Wait a minute; Jesus obviously didn’t realize how much this man would have to give up, right. Wrong, Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen when he told this young man this. For even before he makes this statement, the Bible tells us that Jesus looked at him and felt a love for him. This love he felt was the kind of love a parent feels when they know that what they just told their child to do will not be done.