By Ralph Price, Streetsboro OH congregation

Text: Mark 10:17-22.

Delivered on: April 24, 2016. Streetsboro.

  1. THE GOOD. Verses 17-20.

    1. He came to Jesus as a young man.
      1. We learn that he was a young man from Matthew 19:20.
      2. It speaks well of this young man that he was concerned about eternal life.
      3. It shows that he had given thought to death, a thing which most young people don’t do too often.
      4. All too often, the young feel as if Christianity is for old people who have already lived their lives and had their fun.
      5. To many, Christianity is viewed as a “step down” in the joy department.
        1. Nothing could be further from the truth.
        2. The truth is that the Christian lifestyle rewards us both in this life and the next. 1 Timothy 4:8. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
      6. As an old man, Solomon wrote by inspiration encouraging us to seek God in our youth. Ecclesiastes 12:1. Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”:
    2. He knelt before Jesus.
      1. This was a demonstration of reverence and respect.
      2. All too often, the young are lacking in this characteristic to their elders.
      3. Leviticus 19:32. ‘You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.
      4. Furthermore, he gave Jesus the title of “Good Teacher.”
      5. Jesus took this as an acknowledgement of His deity.
    3. He asked the most important question anyone can ever ask.
      1. He wanted to know how to inherit eternal life.
      2. From this question we know that:
        1. He believed in life after death.
        2. He believed that Jesus was the One who could tell him how to get it.
      3. This question is of supreme importance because our souls are going to be around forever.
      4. As such, they are of more value than the whole world.
        1. Matthew 16:26. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
        2. Luke 12:20-21. But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
    4. He was moral.
      1. In answer to the young man’s question, Jesus tells him to keep the commandments.
        1. Jesus then mentions five of the ten commandments.
        2. He also adds the command not to defraud. Leviticus 19:13. You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.
      2. This man replied that he had observed those commands all of his life.
      3. This tells us that he was what we would consider a “good” person. He had good morals.
  2. THE BAD.

    1. He failed Jesus’ test.
      1. Jesus telling this man to sell all he had and give to the poor and follow Him was a test.
      2. Remember, Jesus knew this young man better than he knew himself. John 2:25. And had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
      3. Just as important as the commands that Jesus had mentioned are the commands that He did not mention.
      4. He did not mention:
        1. Have no other God’s before me.
        2. Make no graven image.
        3. Take not the Lord’s name in vain.
        4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
        5. You shall not covet.
      5. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus did not mention the commandments that had to do with this young man’s relationship with God.
      6. He also didn’t mention the command not to covet.
        1. Colossians 3:5. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
        2. When one covets, he wants that which belongs to another.
        3. His desire for that thing becomes so strong that the object coveted becomes his god.
        4. He care about obtaining it more than he cares about pleasing God.
    2. His problem in a nutshell.
      1. What was this man’s biggest problem?
        1. He was a believer.
        2. He was moral.
      2. His problem was the he didn’t love God as much as he loved his money.
      3. He wanted to lay hold on eternal life without letting go of his riches.
      4. He was an idolater.
      5. His money was his god.
      6. This is a prime example of that which is taught in Matthew 6:24. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

    1. There is a cost to Christianity.
      1. In order to be a disciple of Jesus we must be willing to forsake all else.
      2. The Lord wants us to know before we commit to Him that there is a cost. Luke 14:25-33.
      3. God wants and deserves to be first in our lives.
    2. What about our priorities?
      1. Where does our commitment to God rank on our list of priorities?
      2. If we were to examine our schedules, apart from work and sleep, what percentage of our time is spent devoted to the service of God?
      3. What percentage of our money?
      4. Does God take a backseat during fishing season?
      5. Is spending time with your physical family more important than spending time with God and his family?
      6. We often sing the song, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give…”
      7. Do you talk to others about God as much as you do about your grandchildren? Have you tried?
      8. I am convinced that many Christians are like this young ruler.
      9. They believe in Jesus. They see the need to seek eternal life. Yet there are often things in their lives that are more valuable to them than God.
    3. How tragic it will be if on the day of Judgment we hear, “One thing you lacked…”