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.