For the next couple of days we will focus on Jesus' encounter with a rich man
(sometimes referred to as "Rich Young Ruler").
As we look at this man I pray we see ourselves--our need for repentance and re-focus.
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
19 You know the commandments:
‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 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.
This man had nothing to be afraid of.
He followed the commandments.
He knew the Law.
He had money.
He was set up!
Jesus looks at him and says, "Don't call me good. None but God is good"
Why would Jesus say that? Is it because Jesus himself was not good?
No, it's because he wanted the rich man to realize that he (the man) was not good.
You see, this man was a "good man"...
He followed the Law, learned the Scriptures, didn't kill anyone, didn't steal anything, was faithful to his wife, and honored his parents.
Aren't we just like this man?
We think that because we have lived an upright life--we have not committed a crime, we've been good to our family, we didn't cheat, steal, or kill--that we are going to be ok.
As a matter of fact, statistics prove that most people in America believe the way to heaven is by being a good person. (Lee Strobel, Becoming a Contagious Christian)
The truth is, we are 100% dependent upon God's grace. There is absolutely nothing that we can do in order to deserve "eternal life" as the man was hoping to have.
This doesn't mean that we stop doing and being good--after all, we are supposed to be like God (the One who is good). However, we cannot place our salvation in our goodness, but His!
Forgive me for placing my hope in what I do.
Forgive me for ever thinking that I deserve heaven.
or for thinking that I can work my way there.
I recognize that I am not the one who is good, YOU ARE.
My confidence of eternal life is not found in me or what I can do.
My confidence of eternal life is found in Christ, His love, His sacrifice, His resurrection.
Thank you for your grace, forgiveness,
and for giving me an opportunity to believe in Christ as my Savior and Lord.
Look at verse 21 again.
In the midst of teaching the rich man a lesson Mark says, "Jesus looked at him and loved him."
No, we may not alway get it right.
But Jesus is ready to correct us with His love if we run to Him as the rich man did.
1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.