Summary: exposition on matt ch19v16-30
THE POVERTY OF RICHES
Matthew 19 v. 16 - 30
The rich young ruler’s request "what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"
We notice here :-
1. His Respect for the Lord v. 16 "good Master" - Campbell Morgan describes this man as " A man of fine natural temperment, a man of courage (i.e. coming to Jesus), a man of humility, a man of true aspiration, but a man lacking one thing i.e. a centre of authority" he had - no king, and no guiding motive in life
2. His Request of the Lord v. 16 "what good thing shall I do?" - he was mistaken in his:-
(a) Appraisal Of the Lord "good Master" he saw Jesus as nothing more. We cannot be right in the rest if we fail to think rightly of Him.
(b) Apprehension of salvation - "what good thing shall I do?" - "By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourseves it is the gift of God and it’s not of works lest any man should boast"
(c) Appreciation of eternal life - "I may have" - eternal life is life’s priority not an added extra.
3. His Response from the Lord v. 17 "why callest thou me good"
(a) Check your appraisal of Me
(b) Check your apprehension of salvation - can good works save? - v. 20 "what lack I yet?"
(c) Check your appreciation of eternal life
(1) Eternal life has a cost v. 21 "go sell that thou hast " morals, materials, and good motives are insufficient for salvation
(2) Eternal life has a consequence i.e. "thou shalt have treasure in heaven" - "lay up treasure in heaven, life will pass away, lay up treasure in abundant measure for the great accounting day"
(3) Eternal life has a condition v. 21 "and come and follow me" here he is faced with a decision, a direction, and a destination
4. His refusal of the Lord v. 22 "he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions" Why? - having stood face to face with the Saviour, and hearing the call of God, he would never be the same again. Souls who hear God’s voice are either hardened and keep going away, or humbled and return again to Jesus.
He was too:-
(a) Religious for the kingdom of God v. 20 "all these have I kept from my youth up"
(b) Righteous for the kingdom of God v. 21 "if thou wilt be perfect"
(c) Rich for the kingdom of God v. 22 "he had great possessions"
(1) Riches can blind Revelation 3 v. 17 - Laodicea "because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked"
(2) Riches can bind Matthew 6 v. 21 "for where your treasure is there will your heart be also"
(3) Riches can blight v. 22 "he went away sorrowful" - missing the opportunity of sacrifice - go sell, of service - give to the poor, and of salvation - "treasure in heaven"
The Lord’s response v. 23 - 26 "a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven"
The problem for the rich - they have difficulty because of :-
independence, distraction (with the things of this earth), ambition i.e. to get more, enough is "just a little more", price - it’s to big to leave all and follow Jesus
The peril for the rich.v. 24 it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven - the peril of missing heaven