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                 The Gospels in Harmony                   Sermon #347    Posted 9/8/21

Matthew 19:16-22  Mark 10:17-22  Luke 18:18-23
The Gospels in Harmony  Sermon #347-9121

 

16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 
17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 
18  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 
19  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 
20  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 
21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 
22  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19:16-22
17  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 
18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 
19  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 
20  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 
21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 
22  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Mark 10:17-22
18  And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 
19  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 
20  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 
22  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 
23  And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
Luke 18:18-23
    
     As we begin our next study in the Gospels in Harmony we see that Matthew, Mark and Luke have recorded this event knowing of course that it was very important to the readers they were directing there writings toward. 
This portion of Scripture is often known as the Rich Young Ruler but can also be referred to as How to Inherit Eternal Life.
   The second title is used much less because one could say that it points to works for salvation instead of faith alone. However, I would have to say if you were to truly read it to understand it you would have to admit the lesson is about ones heart condition. 
    First we must consider that, as Luke states, this man was a ruler.
He was a person of influence and authority among the Pharisees and others sects at Jerusalem who were also members of the Sanhedrin. 
In other words members of the religious elite whos faith was in their works.
   In all three accounts the words of this ruler were the same.
"What shall I do"---to inherit eternal life.
     This man was wealthy compared to most or was at least in a class considered to be rich. He was also young. Whether he had become wealthy by inheritance or by his own enterprise it is not clear. But because he speaks of inheriting eternal life and because of his age one would have a tendency to think he had already inherited much. So for him to apply this to eternal life would be quite understandable. Yet he comes to Jesus in a busy street and hits his knees in obvious desire to know what is lacking in his life. 
17  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mark 10:17
   He came running --in a hurry
kneeling ---in submissiveness and respect
Into the way--- Out in the open in a public area.
This is the description of a person who is ready to cast aside all fear of ridicule and chastisement from his peers and humble himself before Jesus to find out what he must do to inherit eternal life. 
    Now I want you to hold that image in your mind for a few moments.
Young, rich, ready to do something other than follow the commandments to earn eternal life. Surely a man such as he could afford or manage to accomplish whatever it would be to secure his goal. If he just knew what it was he could make it happen and then eternal life would be not only guarantied but owed to him.
    He was quite astute to recognize Jesus as the one who would know.
He also was quick to lift Jesus above others who were teachers of the scriptures.  
16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Matthew 19:16
     Good Master, was a way of saying above all others. But Jesus would not accept that title at this time. He was quick to point to God our Father as the only one Good or above all others.
17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Matthew 19:17
   Having cleared that point with this young ruler Jesus began to give examples of the Ten Commandments that we all to this day need to know and obey. 
18  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 
19  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 19:18-19
He is testing the young man. 
Here is where most people begin to get stuck.
    Not that they don't want to follow the Ten Commandments but they look at this young man as a religious zealot. Like Paul stated of his upbringing and education, even his life. Blameless! He followed the law to perfection!
Most people would begin to compare themselves to this young man and think, "well what chance do I have".  
    Did Jesus ever say you as a person of this world must follow the Commandments without flaw to be accepted by God? No! No one can!
The Law was given to prove we are sinners. And how exceedingly sinful we are. Anyone who believes they have followed the Commandments of God without exception is only fooling themselves. 
   Jesus already knew the self righteousness and self-centeredness of this young man so he simply cornered him into admitting it to himself.
20  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Matthew 19:20
   Know I want you see there are two parts to the answer Jesus gives.
21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Matthew 19:21
   The first part is giving the young man instruction on how to shed his self-centeredness and the second is how to shed his self righteousness.
Look at what Jesus is pointing out to this rich young man.
He is rich because he has more than he needs and has kept it for himself.
It doesn't matter how he came into his wealth, what matters is how he manages it and what he does with it.  Jesus is immediately painting a picture for this young man to see himself. A picture of himself giving without regret. Giving with benevolence and love. This young man immediately sank away from what he was seeing by the Lords instruction. 
22  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19:22
He was so self-centered he could not bear the thought of being without an excess or being of meager means like most of the people who looked up to him. In his mind it was more important to be glorified now then to live in glory later.
   But here is the second part to Jesus' answer.
-----and come and follow me.
Matthew 19:21
     Leave your self righteousness behind and follow me. Leave your high rank and status in society and among the religious groups you belong to and humble yourself to be my disciple. Jesus made sure this young rich ruler was not going to stop at one more act of works. He commanded him to give up his religious practices and follow Him in faith.
   Isn't it something that this young man never got to the disciple part? It's like he never heard it. He was so concerned with the idea of giving up his wealth and the status it gave him that he never even considered being a disciple of Jesus. 
Well folks, I need to tell you something. Many churches today actually promote this attitude. They promote popularity and status by being the bigger, better, most recognized church in the area. Its members are immediately labeled special and demand recognition for attending such a church. The main message that is preached is prosperity and its members love to wear their best on every body’s nose. There are huge congregations of well to do, better than thou socialites who give some to be seen but never there all to be sure. As long as they are not asked to give there all to others and pick up their cross for Christ they will continue to live in the lie they are saved. They are the religious self righteous, self-centered religious practitioners who rule over little and are slaves to the flesh.
   If they were told to sell everything or at least give their excess to or for the poor they would never hear the second portion of the command.
-----come and follow me.
Matthew 19:21
    Their attention would be on themselves whether trying to figure how to get out of selling everything or just telling themselves that most of what they have they really need. Their eyes would never turn toward faith and discipleship in Christ Jesus. The rich young ruler wanted salvation, wanted eternal life without giving up his own for Jesus. 
     Jesus gave up His life for us, what are you giving in return. 
Look there is nothing wrong with being wealthy but it will be your heart condition toward others and your abilities to be compassionate and charitable that will bless you. God loves a cheerful giver. God blesses some to be able to help others. Are you one of them? 
Are you like Cain who offered some of his produce or are you like Abel who gave his first and best? Are you giving your all to be a disciple of Jesus?

We will continue this study in our next sermon.
Be blessed, be safe, AMEN!

Pastor Steven Freede 
Cornerstone Independent Church Ministry
9/1/21

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