A Biblical Truth about God is consistently He calls us to sacrifice our lives and then in return He provides exponentially more than we give up. It is found throughout the Old and New Testament writings. That is the deal with Heaven: What you give up to get there is not even comparable to what you receive there. This revelation about God is is as old as when Abraham sacrifices Issac! [Only Son] Because Abraham was willing to give up whatever God asked Him to give up, Abraham experienced God’s provision, far exceeding what he was willing to give up.
It may seem impossible but Christ’s Disciples do it, have done it, will do it! When they understand the value of eternal life with God, Disciples trade their stuff for it! [treasure hidden in a field]
Over and over again Jesus says: “Give up your life for Me and the Truth about Me!” ‘Your Life’ being everything that matters to you, He calls all humanity to do this. Some will answer that call and some will not. For many it appears to be an impossible thing to do. But Jesus says to His ‘Dear Children’ that those who give up things for ‘My Sake’, will get in return multiplied amounts of what they gave up… Along with persecution … Our passage today finds Jesus and His followers on the road to Jerusalem. Christ’s Disciples walking with their Lord.
MARK 10:17-31[NASB 1995]
17 As Jesus was starting out on His way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to Him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.”
- What he calls Jesus says a lot about who he thinks He is… He does kneel…
- He seeks a ‘teacher’ to get a philosophical idea about eternity [head learning]
- He inherited ‘this life’… now he wants to figure out how to inherit the next life
- Referred to as a young man twice in Matt. 19, called ‘A Ruler’ in Luke 18
- Jesus points out the sinful nature of EVERY person…[Except Him!]
19 “But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
- Jesus uses the term ‘The Commandments’
- He mentions some of the relational commandments that are codified in law
- I believe there was an understanding that what Jesus meant was ‘The Law’
- This guys says he has kept them all! What a lie! [a teacher wouldn’t know]
21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” He told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
- Jesus really loved him AND called him to surrender His ‘stuff / life’… for Him!
- This demonstrates God’s love for all AND His call to follow goes out to all
- Christ loved Him, but at the same time knew what his response was going to be
- Obviously disappointed he resigned to live for his stuff rather than God
- Then Jesus makes a statement, He is not asking a question
- He says it is going to be hard to surrender earthly riches for heavenly riches
- The earthly riches are right here right now… heavenly riches require faith!
24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, 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 are amazed because the ultra religious were also the ultra rich in Israel
- Jesus then says to His ‘Dear Children’ that those with a lot of stuff will struggle
- Jesus uses an example that appears to says that it is impossible to enter
- Discipleship to Christ is hard in general, seemingly impossible for the rich
26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. 27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
- The twelve are blown away! They thought they were in…
- A camel can’t get through the eye of a needle!
- If that is how hard it is NOBODY can be saved!
- Jesus says, no human can make it happen… but God can do anything!
- God can even fit a camel through the ‘Eye of The Needle’
- The unburdening of our possessions gets us where God wants us to go
28 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said. 29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for My sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution.”
- Peter, the instant processor says: We have totally unburdened ourselves!
- Christ affirms that statement: “Yea, you guys have given up everything”!
- He says that if you give up everything for ME & THE GOSPEL
- Now [in this life] you will get a hundred times what ever you give up
- Relationships / Property / Estates
- What happens if you don’t give anything up to follow Christ? 0 X 100 = ZERO
- What else do you get? PERSECUTION!! [Discipleship Special Offer]
But wait…there’s more!
- After telling His Disciples they will have a ‘rich’ life on earth as His followers
- If you give up everything for ME & THE GOSPEL you get eternal life
- And then Jesus adds this Kicker: Status in eternity is not based on status here
- What makes people important in this world will carry no importance in heaven
- People who almost nobody has heard about will be the greatest in heaven
- The first will be last and the last will be first
This guy is the product of ‘Spiritual Posturing’ in establishment religion
Wealth & Status = Spiritual Maturity. His claim that he has kept all the commandments is a ‘Relativistic’ look at Obedience.
God’s response to fleshly attempts to appear good enough: LOVE & INVITATION.Christ exposes religious posturing & fronting as a hinderance to salvation.
We want to exempt what is most valuable to us from the list of what we will give up for God. God says: get rid of the stuff I tell you to give up & swap it for heaven! Follow ME!
This guy couldn’t part with his wealth / possessions / status / power. Jesus wants to teach us how money & status will distract people from eternal things.
As Christ Disciples we become ‘Unencumbered’ in whatever way Christ calls us to. We give up: Status, careers, relationships, possessions, where you live…
Christ’s Disciples will give up what they are called to give up, and will receive back multiplied amounts of what they give up. Jesus said it, do you believe it enough to act based on what He says?
Give up nothing: you receive what you can provide, not the multiplied riches of GOD. Giving up wealth & status will make Christ’s Disciples look unimportant in this world. Giving up wealth and status will make Christ’s Disciples great and rich in Eternity.
If you find yourself at the point of surrender…Ask God to give you eternal life, only He can make it happen! If He is making it happen He will ask you to give up something…That is what Christ’s followers do, they imitate their Lord and lay down their life. If you don’t think you can, believe what Christ says, ‘Everything is possible with God!’
What are you willing to give up to follow Christ? What have you not been able to give up?
Do you compare your obedience to Christ with that of others? Do you think this is a Biblical practice?
What are some examples in your life where you gave up things for Christ’s sake and then received so much more than you gave up?
Lay It Down, See It Multiplied / Sacrifice and Provision