BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-22

Summary of passage:  A man asks Jesus what good thing he must do to get to heaven.  Jesus said there is only One who is good and to obey the commandments to enter life.  The man asked which commandments and Jesus said don’t murder, steal, commit adultery, or give false testimony, and honor your mother and father and love your neighbor.

The man asked what he still lacked once he has done this.  Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions, give to the poor for treasure in heaven, and follow him.  The man went away sad, unable to do so.


11a)  The man had a limit as to what he would sacrifice for Jesus.  The children do not.  They love whole-heartedly.  The man loved his material things more.

b)  Jesus told him it was more important to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth as the man believed.  The man was of the world.

12a)  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

b)  His earthly life, his great wealth on earth.

13a)  Jesus knew the man lacked love for others and acceptance of him as a Savior.  He knew the man’s heart was not his.  He knew the man was not willing to give up everything for him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The gospel (and hence God) is stronger than man and man himself can never hope to follow it without God and Jesus.  With Jesus, we can be whom God called us to be.  Without Jesus, we cannot.  Jesus showed us what matters is the heart.  If our heart is not his, then everything else in life is not worthwhile.  It is meaningless.

With regards to the teachings on marriage, when we weaken God’s word, we all suffer as does society.  Look at our society now compared to the past.  Even 150 years ago, we were stronger.  We must take all of God’s word and not just parts.  It was not meant to be compartmentalized.  We either believe the Truth or we don’t.  We are either God’s or we’re not.  There is no middle ground, gray area, or wiggle room.

Conclusions:  I was hoping to read all of Matthew 19 and am unsure why BSF is breaking this up into two weeks (guess I’ll find out next week).  I wanted to read Jesus’ response to the man and analyze it.  Just too much to cover I guess!

End Notes:  This story is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  All say he was rich.  The man appears to be seeking reassurance from Jesus; yet, because he asked him what he is still lacking, he must sense that he is not fully God’s.

Jesus asked the man to “follow me”, similarly to how Jesus called other disciples (Matthew 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; Mark 2:14).  He asked him to be his disciple, which in this case meant selling what was standing in the way of him and God (his material items) and committing fully to God.  The man, too attached to this world, could not do it.

Note the man is miserable before and miserable afterwards.  Life is a waste if you are miserable and yet do nothing to change it.  It is interesting to note human nature here.  Even after being told what he must do to have eternal life, man turns his back.  Wonder how many of us would do that if tested as the man were?  I would hope if God himself or Jesus told me what I was lacking, I’d change it.

Both Mark and Luke record the man as calling Jesus “good”, which is why Jesus here explains that only God is good, meaning if you think Jesus good, then Jesus must be God.


7 thoughts on “BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-22

  1. going back to the divorce lesson, I stumble over the comment that encourages celibacy as a preferred path, If we followed that there would be no human life at some point. My only answer is that there was a point being made and we were not all expected to actually choose that condition to accept Christ.


    1. I concur. In Genesis, we are told by God to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth..” (Genesis 1:28). I think Paul’s point was that some are called to be celibate in order to more fully commune with God. Yet, some are called to raise the next generation of believers. I see both as equally spiritual and none better than the other.

      Here is where the monks of the Middle Ages got in trouble, believing they were above everyone else because they were celibate. I don’t think Jesus ever intended that kind of pride and superiority.


  2. Hi there. I appreciate your blog/notes much I use your points when I get stuck but I feel Like I am getting little out of Matthew first We lost our church and by the time we had A new church we missed two weeks. Now We are missing every other week due to Snow and ice. Our lectures cover what We miss but that is it.

    Any hints or encouragement are welcome

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Marcie,

      That’s rough! Will be praying for stability, that’s for sure!

      I would definitely see if you can get the notes for what you missed. They will be most helpful in understanding the material. Follow me here and see what I and others have to say as a “discussion” group.

      You might see if you can get recorded lectures since you are missing so much. Not sure BSF does that but they might make an exception in your case due to all the hardships you’ve had/are having.

      Keep plugging away. Get the questions at least online and work through the material. God will meet you right where you are at and He will reveal Himself as long as you keep on chugging!!!!

      No one said following Christ was easy…


  3. My first comment is with respect to softening the Word of God to make it more acceptable or easier for nonbelievers. There are a number of passages that instruct us never to do this. For example, Deuteronomy 4: 1-2; Proverbs 30: 5-6; Revelation 22: 18-19. These passages consistently say don’t add to or subtract from the Word of God. To me this applies to all areas of life be it the issue of gay marriage, abortion, marriage, etc.

    As for not posting the notes on the website, I wonder if this is done to be sure folks attend the sessions.

    Finally, I am glad I found your blog on the Internet. I like to compare my answers to yours!


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