Summary: Part 5 of a 5 part series used for VBS at Welcome Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Lemont Il.
WHMBC VBS 2007 – Treasure #5 – Spoils
The young man that we are about to be introduced to may have the distinction of being the only man recorded in the gospels who came to Jesus and went away in worse condition than when he came. He came to the right person, asked the right question and received the right answer, but made the wrong decision.
Verse 18 - Here we are introduced to the story of what has come to be known as “the rich young ruler.” All the gospel accounts must be considered to get the complete picture. Mark says he is rich. Matthew says that he is young (Gr. Neaniskos – less than 40 yrs. of age), and Luke says he is a ruler.
Look at the question he asks in Verse 19! “Good teacher” - Recognition of Jesus deity.
There is no mention of any rabbi in Jewish history being called good. The Jews insisted in calling only God good. In Anglo-Saxon, which is where the English language comes from, God is the same word for good. When Jesus asked, "Why do you call me good?" it is not a denial of his deity but a call to the man to reflect on what he just said. "Do you understand what you said when you called me good teacher? No one is good but God alone."
Is this mere flattery, or does he really believe that Jesus is God?
Jesus wanted this young man to face the hard facts that there are only two possibilities, “If you want to call me good, you must be willing to call me God. If you won’t call me God, then you can’t call me good!”
Jesus now turns to him and in verse 20
When Jesus reminded this young man of God’s commandments, He in effect responded by saying, “Been there. Done that, got the t-shirt!” It is amazing when you hear people say – I’ve kept the commandments – I’ve never killed anyone!!!
This young man thought was a good person. There are a lot of people in this world who are counting on their goodness to get them a place in heaven.
I want you to notice with four things that we learn from the rich young ruler.
I. How good is good?
There are still individuals today who think that they are keeping the Ten Commandments. Perhaps you are on of those persons.
If that is what you think, then I want you to do a little experiment with me. I am going to list the Ten Commandments for you and I want you to count off the ones you have never broken. Then at the end I want you to add up the ones you have never broken and let’s see how good you have been.
(1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. If you have always put God 1st in your life, nothing has ever taken priority over Him… Count that as one you’ve never broken.
(2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any a graven image. Now here is one that we all feel pretty good about. If you’ve never fashioned an idol and bowed down and worshiped it you can count that as one you’ve never broken – Posters?
(3) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain. If you have never used the name of God or the name of Jesus as a cuss word and in all your life, you have only used God’s name with the highest respect, then count this one.