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Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see a young man approach Jesus and ask Him the most important question of all time...”What must I do to have eternal life?” That is a GREAT question! There were a lot of things this young man did right.

“The Rich Young Ruler”

Matthew 19: 16-22

May 19, 2013

Intro: A new missionary was assigned a car that wouldn’t start w/o a push. After pondering his problem, he came up w/a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of the class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this tactic for 2 years until an illness caused him and his family to leave. When his replacement came, he explained the car situation to the man.

-As he talked @ how creative his plan was to run the car, the new missionary popped the hood and was looking at the engine as the missionary spoke. Before he finished, he new missionary said, “Hey, I see a loose cable here.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, turned the key, and to the old missionary’s surprise, the engine roared to life.

-For 2 years he’d come up w/a routine that was totally unnecessary. The power had been there all the time. But a loose connection had kept him from being able to put that power to work.

-This story’s very similar to the story we’re going to examine in the Bible. There was a man who was trying to come up w/a plan for how to live his life in a way that would be pleasing to God. It was an admirable desire. But there was a loose cable in his relationship w/God. And instead of fixing the cable, he was coming up w/a routine that left the power of God out of his life altogether.

-The name of our series for this month is called “Breaking Bad.” And we’re looking at people throughout the Bible who ended up in places they never dreamed. We’ve seen King David, called a man after God’s own heart, separated from God b/c of adultery and murder. We’ve seen the incredible strength of Samson collapse around him as he put himself at the center of his world instead of God. We’ve seen the spies in Israel headed to the land promised to them by God, only to begin to doubt God’s power. And each time, the people ended up in places they never wanted to be.

Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see a young man approach Jesus and ask Him the most important question of all time...”What must I do to have eternal life?” That is a GREAT question! There were a lot of things this young man did right. But he made a series of mistakes that led him to missing out on the power of God in His life; that led him in the direction of breaking bad.

TEXT: MATTHEW 19: 16-22

Bckgrd: At this point, Jesus was still very popular. Crowds of people were still gathering around to listen to Him teach. People were seeking Him out b/c they wanted to hear what He had to say. During this time of teaching, a rich, young ruler approached Jesus and asked Him a question all people want to know the answer to.

-”What must I do to have eternal life?” I love the question! But there was a problem w/it. He was looking for an answer that wouldn’t inconvenience him. And b/c that was his natural bent, he ended up, like so many of us, breaking bad.

-What we’re going to see today is some key mistakes of the rich, young ruler. His 1st mistake was:

1: HE DIDN’T RECOGNIZE JESUS AS LORD (v. 16)

Exp: This story is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And when you combine the stories, here’s what you come up with. We learn the man who asked Jesus this question was rich, young and a ruler. Ruler of what? Very likely the ruler of the local synagogue. He was probably of the more traditional sect of the faith which would’ve been ruled by the Pharisees b/c he was asking @ eternal life. The liberal sect of the faith, the Sadduccees, didn’t believe in eternal life.

A.As I look at the beginning of this story I see that this man was on the right track in so may ways. First, he came to Jesus! Next, he came to Jesus w/the RIGHT question! But you can see a recognition problem midway thru v. 16 when he addresses Jesus as “Teacher.” Obviously there was nothing wrong w/this title. It was a term of respect. The man recognized that Jesus was somebody worth listening to.

1.If you look in the previous verses you’ll see was being asked questions by religious figures trying to trip Him up b/c they were jealous. You can see Him being asked @ controversial subjects like divorce and runaway slaves. Mothers were brining their children to be blessed by Jesus. So the young and rich man knew there was something different @ this Jesus. He realized Jesus was a man worthy of his respect.

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