May 13, 2018 | Lee Becknell

What does Jesus really want from Us?

Mark 10:17-22

* Our passage today introduces us to a young man searching for something. He’s often called the Rich Young Ruler. Matthew tells us he was a young man; Luke describes him as a ruler, or what we would call an aristocrat.

* Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us he was rich. He was a man who had two things, everything and nothing. He was wealthy and successful, but he turned away from Jesus with nothing. He was searching for something more in life.

* This morning, I would like to share with you the following lessons.

  1. Jesus always exposes the issues of our hearts.

Mark 10:21-22, “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.”

* If Jesus was interested in adding to his team. Then this man was surely the best candidate so far. Prime candidate for a follower of Jesus.

* Zaccehus, cheat. Woman at the well—five husbands and living with a man.

* He is keen, sincere and considerate of eternal life. The only recorded individual that went away sad from the person of Jesus.

* A great arrival but a sorry departure. What is going on? Many people have this philosophy of life. It goes like this; if there is a God and he is good I’m sure he will reward nice people for doing their best.

* “Nice people lost in their niceness.” C.S. Lewis.

* In our text, this morning we find out that the possessions of this young man meant more to him than following Jesus.

* It raises the question; do we need to do the same? Here’s the short answer. You don’t need to sell all your riches unless your riches have become the god of your life.

* Jesus designs a different solution for each person. If you have a competing god ruling your life, Jesus will give you a unique word to replace that god with the true and Living God.

* He is the only person to whom Jesus ever spoke those words. Nicodemus was wealthy. Joseph of Arimathea was wealthy, but Jesus never told them to sell all their possessions because Jesus knew their possessions didn’t possess them.

* Verse 17 tells us, "Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him...." Jesus so deeply loved this young man he had to break him of his self-dependency and expose him for the sinner that he was.

* Jesus gives a little section of the 10 commandments. Deuteronomy 5:7-21. But He does not mention these:

* Command one. “You shall have no other gods before me.”

* Command two. “You shall not make for yourself an idol…”

* All about now, stuff and himself. His whole life is set up about himself.

* It is not about doing good it is about following me.

* The kingdom of God demands first allegiance. A rich man’s first allegiance is the possession he has acquired.

* Give up anything that is more important to Jesus then come and follow him.

  1. The conversation keeps shifting from entering, to having rewards in the Kingdom of God

* Two conversations are going on here. One on how to enter the kingdom of God and the second how to have rewards or inheritance in the kingdom of God. For rewards, study 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

* This conversation seems to go back and forth to both and it is hard for the reader to know which one is being address. At the end of the chapter, we find Jesus doing the same thing with the disciples. He is talking about entering the kingdom then he is talking about rewards in the kingdom.

Mark 10:26-31, “The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”


Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

* Who is fit for entry and on what basis?

* When I was a boy good was a moral term what was right or wrong. Today, it is an emotional term; if it makes you feel good then it is good.

* Let me explain. Notice the word in verse 17, “Inherit eternal life”. Then drop down to verse 21b, “…and you will have treasure in heaven…”

* He instead says you will have a reward in heaven.

* Verse 21 is the key to this passage. He is showing this young man how to have rewards in heaven and then he shows him how to inter the kingdom. Notice the phrase; “…then come follow me.” Or believe in me

* I hope we see this man in Heaven. I like to think that he thought about it some more and changed his mind and returned to follow Christ.

  1. What will you do with Jesus?

* Some scholars suggest Jesus was inviting this man to become the 13th disciple. Why thirteen? Jesus knew He had a bad one in the bunch. Jesus called Him to follow Him, and I believe Jesus really wanted this young man to say, “Yes, Lord!”

* Someone wrote, “The saddest words of tongue or pen are these four words, ‘What might have been.’” Just think, if this young man had gladly transferred his wealth to heaven and followed Jesus, we might be reading his Gospel account rather than Mark’s. But because he rejected Jesus, his identity is lost to history.

* Beloved, notice how he addresses Jesus at the beginning of the story, Good teacher v17. Read verse 18! Jesus was trying to make him aware of his divine nature. Now look at verse 20, ‘Teacher’. He learns quickly but he is saying that he does not believe Jesus is God.

*Jesus opens blind eyes. This man never saw the real Jesus.

* Mark is the only one who gives us the tiny detail that Jesus looked at the young man and loved him. He looks at you and loves you. He looks at me and loves me. Jesus really did want this young man to make the right choice.

* Beloved, don’t get discouraged. All things are possible with God.

Mark 10:26-27, “The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"

* What does Jesus want? Give Him your heart and follow Him!


Missionary moment:

John Hunt sailed for Fiji in the 1800’s and immediately began studying the language and spending quantity time with the natives.  Knowing the people motivated him to preach and begin translating the Bible within six months.  He would first read from the Greek and English New Testaments, research word definitions, and study Bible resources.  He then consulted many natives to improve his use of the Fijian language.

Culture shock hit hard.  Hunt’s firstborn died as natives mocked, an elderly woman was strangled at Hunt’s door, and eleven bodies were dissected by cannibals in front of his home.  Worse yet, Hunt was asked by local chiefs to leave.  However, God gave a supernatural love which grew in proportion to the mounting hate.  He wrote, “I am determined to…be spent in trying to do them good, until God…shall remove me from them…”  (The Life of John Hunt:  Missionary to the Cannibals – George Stringer Rowe, pg. 106)  He concluded, “We seem to labor in vain, but faith can never come to such a conclusion.”  (pg. 111)  Hunt pressed “onward,”  as was his motto.

God soon sent encouragement.  God rescued Hunt’s ship from attacking natives, and transformed a prominent chief into an effective missionary.  Finally, God anointed the island with revival.  Hunt wrote, “During the first week of the revival, nearly one hundred…[obtained]… forgiveness of sins through…Jesus Christ…Many who were careless…have become…devoted to God…Many never understood till now…”  (pg. 184, 185)  Hunt gave God the glory!

Those newly saved refused to renounce Christ although warriors gathered to feast on them one night.  God moved again, and the warriors admitted, “We came to kill these people, and we cannot lift a hand.” (pg. 190)  The retreating warriors were shocked when the Christians assisted them in carrying their weapons back to the canoes!

No missionary should expect to provide God’s Mighty Word to a spiritually-oppressed people without a struggle.  John Hunt’s life proves that Satan’s attacks are powerless against God’s victory.  Faith is the victory.   Though John Hunt died at thirty-six, he had translated most of the New Testament!  Let us also press “onward”!


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