Sermons

Summary: Jesus teaches His disciples the proper place for their relationships, possessions and even their own lives.

The Right Place

Mark 10:23-31

• There is a lot of talk about values.

• It seems in our relativistic world, values depend upon the situation.

• However, the Bible has values that do not change.

Ill. A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight-point buck.

"Where's Harry?" he was asked.

"Harry had a stroke of some kind. He's a couple of miles back up the trail."

"You left Harry laying there, and carried the deer back?"

"Well," said the hunter, "I figured no one was going to steal Harry."

• After the young rich ruler left Jesus sad, because he had many possessions, Jesus saw the opportunity to teach kingdom values.

Mar 10:23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"

• Jesus posed this question to get the disciples to begin thinking.

• Jesus had just told the man he lacked one thing. “Go and sell all you possessions and give to the poor and follow me.”

• This was not what the man lacked, but would reveal what was lacking in his life.

• However, if you had been a disciple and heard it, there was a strong possibility that you would miss the intended message.

• This young rich ruler would walk away troubled and contemplate the words of Jesus.

• While he thought and prayed about it, the Holy Spirit would reveal to him the real obstacle in his heart.

• However, the disciples would be less likely to think it through all the way, having troubles of their own.

• This took further instructions.

Mar 10:24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!

• The reason they were amazed, of course, is speculation.

• However, is clear that Jesus seldom, if ever, spoke of finances being an issue of saving faith.

• What does being rich or being poor have to do with trusting in Jesus?

• As a matter of fact, it is later verified that the disciples expected Jesus to take over the world as a king, with pomp and splendor, and that all rich men and poor men would enter His kingdom.

• He continues….

Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

• This is a common expression of the day. It was probably used about Jesus’ teachings by His critics, the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes.

• It was often used to indicate a difficult or absurd teaching.

• Sometimes, it was said of an elephant passing through the eye of a needle and sometimes it was a camel.

• It would imply that it took a miracle for this to happen.

• One of our members said he could make a camel pass through the eye of a needle if he had enough time and a big enough blender.

• Otherwise, it would take a miracle.

• Consider this: it would not be a miracle for a rich man to sell all he had and follow Jesus.

• That could be done in the flesh. Many cult leaders have demanded this of their followers without a miracle.

• However, for the young rich ruler to do this, there would have to be a miraculous change in his heart, a regeneration.

• He would be unseating a god, an idol in his heart that was the center of all of his understanding.

• He needed salvation, a miracle of grace through faith.

• A couple of erroneous teachings have been used to alter this teaching of salvation by grace through faith.

• One, some have said the “eye of a needle” is a tax gate for merchants.

• It was said to be designed so that a camel could pass, but had to be totally unloaded.

• They say this is what Jesus meant.

• That would mean that if the young man had sold his goods and gave to the poor without a heart change, he would be in the kingdom.

• Salvation by works. Sorry, that is not the meaning.

• The needle gate was not utilized in Jerusalem at this time, but in other cities centuries later.

• There is a good textual reason for not believing this is the meaning, as we will show.

• Another thing is, the word for camel is similar to the word for cable rope in the Hebrew.

• Although it seems more viable for a cable rope to be threaded into a needle, it is no less impossible.

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