Summary: In this sermon we will compare and contrast two Jews we encounter in the Gospels. One is a wealthy young ruler and the other is a widow. One has much and gives little. The other has little and gives much. Instead of the “balanced” life we often are ex
The Disciple's Life: A Tale of Two Jews
Today is Pentecost! Pentecost is the Jewish feast that celebrated the early grain harvest. It is on this day that the church was born in Jerusalem when a group of 120 disciples of Jesus were gathered in prayer and the gift of the Holy Spirit was given. The event is recorded in Acts 1-2. On that day the harvest began in earnest and before that first day was over 3,000 folks turned (repented), were baptized and became disciples of Jesus (with some astonishing results)!
The harvest continues to this day!
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Why would anyone want to be a disciple of Jesus?
What does a disciple’s life look like?
To answer the last question question we could “simply” look at the concluding verses of Acts 2 and come up with something like this:
1. Disciples of Jesus devote themselves to the teaching of the apostles
2. Disciples of Jesus devote themselves to fellowship
3. Disciples of Jesus devote themselves to the breaking of bread
4. Disciples of Jesus devote themselves to prayer
Easy enough – as a disciple of Jesus we go to church and listen to the pastor talk… and talk… and talk; we hang out in the fellowship hall drinking coffee and munching on snacks as we visit with fellow disciples; we have the occasional pot luck; and we hold prayer meetings!
How are we doing fellow disciples?
OK, OK, I’m being facetious here. The disciples life goes way beyond making sure we can check of the boxes next to our disciple “To do” list.
Last week we described the disciple’s life as clothing ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, an image Paul was fond of. This morning we are going to look at the tale of two Jews that will confront us with the deep things of life and the incredulous decision one of the two makes when she answers the call to the disciples life.
Will you turn with me to Mark 12:41-43:
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
I wonder if someone Jesus had spoken to earlier was among those Jesus is watching here. Turn back a few pages to Mark 10:17:
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! (see Mark 10:13-16) 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Was this young man among those who were putting their money in the treasury?
42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.