So Close, Yet So Far!

Sermon on June 16 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi

Scripture: Mark 10:17-31

An encounter with a young, rich, searcher for reality. He has it all but not the one thing that matters.
Jesus challenges us to:

  • You can respect Jesus without loving Him (v17, 18)
    Jesus will always challenge out thinking about God – and true goodness.
    Other religions put a limit to goodness, to where you can find it and how you can achieve it. Not Jesus.
    If we think we are good in the sense of being acceptable to God, why worry with Jesus?
  • You can love the law without seeing your heart (v19,20)
    Jesus brings up the commandments because rightly understood, we will see how far we fall short of them.

‘Everyone flatters himself and carries a kingdom in his breast’.
(John Calvin)

If we admit how desperate we are, we will always find the grace that gives the kingdom we so desperately need

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Mat. 5:3)

2. SURRENDER ALL! (v21-29)

  • Abandon your dearest idol
    Jesus will expose any idolatry in our lives which leads us to break the greatest commandment.
    What are the good things in your life that you are tempted to make ultimate?
  • Adore Jesus above money
    Why does the rich young ruler go away grieving? For him money was what the Father was to Jesus.
    What does your bank account, Visa statement and receipts show about who you really are?
  • Appreciate the grace that makes the impossible possible
    The disciples had their own brand of prosperity theology: ‘If this rich man is not saved then what about us?’
    There is only One who can make the impossible possible. Jesus was much richer than we could imagine.
    He goes into the deepest poverty of all so we may live in wealth of the forgiveness, love and blessing of the Father.

Remember! We can get so close to religion and even Jesus yet still be far. Are you following Jesus – and does your life and example show it?

1. Why is coming to Jesus with respect and in humility necessary for salvation? What did the rich young ruler have and what did he lack?
2. How do churchgoing Christians sometimes make it look like our religion is based on what we do? How can we change this perception?
3. Why does Jesus make this particular demand of the rich young ruler? What demand might he make of you (i.e. what is your identity or saviour)?
4. Is wealth evidence of God’s favour? How can it also be a hindrance? Pray that you may use your money even more wisely for Christ and the kingdom.

Photo credit Luca