Summary: Part 2, mainly discussing how possessions and the pursuit of them can keep a person from finding and following Christ.
The Place of Possessions (Part 2)
March 2, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING
FOR A CHANGE."
We: I think most people grow up with dreams of making a ton of money and being rich.
Whether it’s through an inheritance or by inventing the next big thing or by discovering gold in your back yard, I think that most all of us have had desires to make big money so we could sit back and get all the stuff we really want, right?
But as we get older, reality sets in and we realize that few find the kind of wealth that would really let us have everything life has to offer.
We begin to see that if we want money, we have to work for it. And usually we have to work hard to get it. And that’s okay.
But I’m also willing to bet that there are untold numbers of people who go home at the end of the day and wish they were rich.
And you know what? I’m no different. Sometimes I get home after a long day and I see the bills just waiting for me.
“Brian’s home! Yee haa! Now he’ll pay attention to us and maybe stuff some money in the envelope!”
And they jump up and down like your dog who’s happy to see you home, right?
No. They just look up at you – mocking you. “Hee hee – I wonder which one of us he’ll actually be able to pay today, bwahahahahaha!”
And like you, I wish some money would come my way that I didn’t have to earn.
I can think of all types of things that I could do with that money. Pay off the house, get newer cars, get season tickets the Minnesota Twins and a helicopter so I could go see the games…
You know, necessities of life!
God: We began looking at an episode of Jesus’ life in Matthew 19, about a rich young man who had approached Jesus to ask one of the most fundamental and essential questions of life.
Jesus’ answer was not at all he was expecting, and he ended up rejecting it.
And there is a lot we can learn from Jesus’ interaction with this guy, so let’s turn there.
Matthew 19:16-30 (p. 696) –
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "’Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ’love your neighbor as yourself.’"
20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Here is the meat of what we’re going to focus on today:
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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."
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Stop there for a moment: why would they ask this? Because the Jews of that time thought that wealth was a sign of God’s favor. So if a rich guy couldn’t make it, then what hope did these disciples have?
26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
27 Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?"
28 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."
Three main lessons from this passage: