THE RICH, YOUNG RULER

   Matthew 19: 16 - 29

Luke 14:33 - “so therfore, no one of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own posses sions…”

Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything!

A young, rich, synagogue ruler,

Behold –unexpected - unusual for him

Admits his lacks and comes to Jesus.

“Eternal Life” used 50 times in Scripture and always refers primarily to quality rather than quantity…

“Life = active response to one’s environment.

Eternal Life = active response to that which is eternal, namely God’s heavenly realm.

Just as physical life is the ability to live and move and respond in our physical world. Eternal life is the ability to live and move and respond in the heavenly realm.

Eternal life is a quality of existence, the divinely endowed ability to be alive to God and the things of God.

By asking the question, he, the rich young ruler, put himself beyond the hypocritical religiosity of the Scribes and Pharisees. He recognized a deep, spiritual need that, for all his religious efforts was unfulfilled. He knew he did not possess the quality of life tht satisfies here and gives hope for the life to come.

Matthew 10:17 “he ran up to Jesus” (submitted himself by kneeling). Jesus knew his heart and went to it - he lacked a sense of his own sinfulness - he was not ready to believe in Him - he knew the Scripture but didn’t recognize who Jesus was.

The truth was that this man wanted peace, fulfillment, joy, assurance and God’s blessing - he did not long for God Himself.

Jesus gave an answer designed to confront him with the fact that he was a living offense to a Holy God...proper evangelism must lead a sinner to measure himself against the perfect law of God so he can see his deficiency. Salvation is for those who hate their sin.

“Which Ones?” - all were familiar to him but he failed to recognize two things:

1. The One speaking to him was God.
2. He couldn’t keep any of them.

It did not occur to him that he fell short in obedience to any part of God’s known law. Because his outward humanly observed life was upright and religious, he never suspected that his inner, divinely observed life was “full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness”. Matthew 23:27.

He didn’t realize that what James said in James 2:10 applied to him!!

The Ten Commandments were given as a picture of God’s righteousness, not as a means of humanly achieving righteousness by keeping them. Obedience to

the law is always imperfect because the human heart is imperfect. One of sin’s greatest curses is the spiritual and moral blindness it produces. One of Satan’s chief strategies is to blend sinners to their sin; and because pride is at the heart of all sin there is a natural inclination toward self-deceit. Nothing is more effective in producing self-deceit than works righteousness. It is the basis of every man-made religion!

This man had great spiritual pride and was unwilling to admit his sinfulness. Jesus took the focus off the young man’s “feet religious and psychological needs,” and placed it on God. He wanted him to understand his real need was God and separation from God and his inability to reconcile himself with God.

Self-Satisfied in the Law.

In a second attempt to show him his true spiritual condition He said to him, “If “- (complete=salvation =perfection). He was asking: “Who will be Lord in your life?” Jesus challenge was what is more valuable to you, Me and Eternal Life or his money and possessions? Not could, not but, would not. Matthew 10:21 - “Love for him” like the love he felt for Jerusalem. Luke 13:34: As much as He loved him and desired for him not to perish, He could not save him while he refused to admit he was lost. REMEMBER: His call to discipleship always falls on deaf ears when there is unwillingness to give up everything for Him Matthew 8: 14-22.

We all have sins that are difficult to give up -for this man it was his wealth and the prestige associated with it. For others it might be a career, unsaved

Boy/girl friend. Whoever want anything or anyone more than Jesus will forfeit Jesus.

Matthew 10: 37 –39

Jewish colloquialism for impossible

 

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