Summary: Where is your heart leading you? Jesus exposes what our hearts so often treasure, and he brings us God’s promises that work the impossible in our hearts. Parts: A. Jesus’ words expose our heart’s god B. Jesus’ invitation works the impossible
Text: Mark 10:17-27
Theme: We Follow Our Heart’s Treasure
A. Jesus’ words expose our heart’s god
B. Jesus’ invitation works the impossible
Season: Pentecost 21c
Date: October 25, 2009
Web page: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/We-Follow-Our-Heart_s-Treasure-Mark10_17-27.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word from God through which Jesus speaks to our hearts is Mark 10
"As [Jesus] was going down the road, a man ran up and fell to his knees before him. He began asking, "Good teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?
"Jesus said to him, "Why are you calling me good? No one is good except One, namely God. You know the commandments: Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do give false testimony. Do not defraud. Honor your father and mother."
"He said to him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth."
"Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, "There’s one thing you’re missing. Go. Sell as much as you have and give to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me."
"He became gloomy at this message and went away grieving. For he had many possessions.
"Looking around Jesus says to his disciples, "How difficult for those having wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. Jesus again responded and says to them, "Children, how difficult it is for those who trust in wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 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."
"They were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "So who can be saved?"
"Looking at them Jesus says, "With people it’s impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." " (Mark 10:17-27)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
King Midas got what his heart longed for. How he loved gold! Now everything he touched turned to gold. An oak twig. A rock. He had what his heart treasured, until his little girl comes running into his arms. How fatal the Midas’ touch!
How often don’t our hearts fool us into pursuing what truly isn’t worth it? For whether we realize it or not, we follow our heart’s treasure. What does your heart treasure? Is that really what you want to be following? Jesus’ words here led the young man to examine his heart, and Jesus’ words expose our hearts as well.
A. Jesus’ words expose our heart’s god
1. What becomes a person’s god?
This young man thought that he treasured eternal life, just as you and I would say we do. In fact, he treasures eternal life so much that he goes running after Jesus and kneels before him. He was an up-and-coming, respected member of the community. Luke refers to him as a ruler. But he falls to his knees before Jesus. He wants eternal life. But has he done enough? "’Good teacher,’ he asked, ’what must I do to inherit eternal life?’" (Mark 10:17 NIV).
"’Why do you call me good?’ Jesus replies. ’No one is good -- except God alone’" (Mark 10:18 NIV). The man thought he treasured eternal life, but where was he really looking for it? What was he following to get it? All good come only from one Source, only from God. He alone is good, the Giver of all that is good, including eternal life. "Did you come running after me because your recognize that I am the Son of God, who came to make the Father known, that only through me flows the good the Father gives? Is that why you call me good? Or do you just see me as a teacher, hoping that I can teach you some good thing to do for eternal life, since you’re still really looking only to yourself rather than to God?" Jesus wants the man to examine his heart. For what his heart looks to as the source of good, that’s what he treasures as his god.
Yes, what we look to for all that is good becomes our god. In the Large Catechism under the First Commandment Luther writes, "We are to trust God alone and look to him expecting nothing from him but good. He’s the One who gives body, life, food, drink, sustenance, health, protection, peace, and all that’s necessary for time and eternity. In addition, he protects from misfortune, and if something troubles us, he rescues and helps out. Therefore, it’s God alone from whom we receive all good and are freed of all misfortune."
2. What had become a god in this man’s heart?
Where was this young man looking for good? What about you? Where are you looking? What does your heart treasure and trust to bring you good? Jesus continues to expose what our hearts treasure as if it were our god.