Notes: November 20, 2009

Riches and Eternal Life

Most people realize that you can’t buy God’s love. But all too many still believe that you can do something to appease him.

Matthew 19:16-30

The Rich Young Man (v. 16-22)

Good Master

  • Jesus questions the title.
  • He does not deny it to himself. Instead he wants the young man to realize that God alone is good.
  • For the title to apply to Jesus, he must be God!

Good thing

  • Like many before and after him, the young man believes that there must be something that he can do to inherit eternal life.
  • Surely, he thinks, salvation comes, at least partly, to those who do good.
  • The idea of salvation 100% by grace is a foreign concept for him, as it is for all who are unaware of God’s revealed plan of salvation.

Good life

  • “Keep the commandments.”
  • “Which ones?”
  • #6, #7, #8, #9 and #5. And love your neighbor as yourself, don’t defraud your neighbor.
  • “I’ve done that since my youth.”
  • “Then the only thing left is for you to sell everything that you own and give your money to the poor and follow me.”
  • That ended the discussion as the rich young man seemed unwilling to part with his wealth, even for heaven.

Riches And Salvation (v. 23-26)

  • It’s hard for a person to give up his riches, which he can hold, to receive the intangible,although real, wealth of God’s kingdom.
  • It would be easier for a large nautical rope to be threaded through the eye of a needle.
  • Humanly speaking, therefore, it is impossible for a rich man to be saved.
  • But salvation is not a human endeavor. With God even the rich can be saved.

Rewards For Discipleship (v. 27-30)

  • Did Jesus advise the young man to give up everything?
  • Well, the 12 apostles had done just that!
  • Peter asks what benefit they shall receive.
  • 100 times more of everything you gave up—AND eternal life.  What more could you ask?

Meditation Points:

  1. He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
  2. Jesus mentions commandments from the second table of the law not because these are the most important, but because these are the most visible.
  3. Can you say that you have kept God’s law since your youth?
  4. Do you understand why salvation must be wholly of grace? Do you see the futility of trying to be good enough for God?
  5. What value will a pile of money be in heaven?