The Worth of Jesus Christ
Loving Jesus more than anything (first become last, last become first)
Reading: Matthew 19: 13-30
Blanks: good, good, perfect, follow, easier, possible, first, first
Let’s try to think of today’s story like this.
Let’s try to listen between the lines.
(1) One day, a rich young man came to Jesus and asked:
“Teacher, how can I have eternal life?
What good things must I do?”
He was a smart young man who has been obtaining what he wanted.
He knew how important it was to set a goal, because then he was able to obtain it.
He knew how to be successful.
So, now, he wanted to obtain eternal life that Jesus talks about.
Then Jesus said something like this:
“Why do you ask me about what’s good?
God is good.
Human beings are not good enough.
Your best effort is not good enough for God.
What you do and what you say is not good enough for God.
You are not good enough by your own power.
So you need to let God work through you.
Then you will have eternal life.
You will enter into the life of God.”
He couldn’t understand it.
He still wanted to do something.
So, he asked again:
“Can you tell me what exactly I need to do to have eternal life?
What does God ask me to do?
(2) Jesus said:
“Well then. Let’s start right here:
Don’t commit adultery.
Honor your father and mother.
Love your neighbor as you do yourself.”
But the young man still couldn’t understand and said:
“That is it?
Well, I’ve done that.”
Jesus was like:
“No, you haven’t done that.
If you want to obey it perfectly, give all you’ve got to the poor.
Go sell your possessions and give money to the poor.
In this way, you can store all your wealth in heaven.
So, it will be perfectly safe.
Then come follow me, because you can only be perfect by God alone.
Then I will help you to live your life perfectly good in God’s way.”
This man could have given some of his money to the poor.
This man could have given some of his money to Jesus.
This man could have used his money to do something good.
But he didn’t have enough faith to give all to the poor to store up in heaven.
He wanted to have the money and control them, because it comforts him.
He didn’t want to live without his money.
He also didn’t want the life style of Jesus.
Jesus’ clothing, hair and transportation spoke all about his financial state.
He knew how Jesus lived financially.
Jesus lived in freedom without seeking financial security.
So, he walked away with his money.
Why did Jesus ask him everything?
Because he wanted to obtain everything of God.
Those who have everything of God, need to give everything and depend on God for everything.
Otherwise, whatever this man tried to do was not good enough or perfect enough for God in terms of the motive or energy.
So, Jesus challenges him to let all go and walk with Jesus who is God.
Then God can do every good things through his life.
Then Jesus can make him good and perfect.
Jesus says “Follow me,” because Jesus wants to teach people that God does not need their effort to give them eternal life.
God is perfect.
God is good.
Jesus can meet all their needs in God’s way.
They just need to allow God to be perfect in them.
Jesus wants to teach them that God can be perfectly good in them and through them.
But then Jesus told his disciples something like this:)
“It is difficult for the rich people to follow me.
It’s easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for the rich to follow me.”
(3) Then the disciples asked:
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said the same thing:
“You are not good enough to be saved, by your effort or by your power.
But if you let God do God’s work in you, you will be saved.”
(2) But Peter still didn’t understand and said something like this:
“We left everything to follow you.
What do we get out of this?”
He still talked about what he did.
But then Jesus decided to kindly encourage them at the moment.
Jesus said something like this:
(3) “In the future, I will rule the coming world with God’s power.
Since you have followed me, you will rule Israel.
And all those who left home, family, fields, or whatever, because of me, will get it all back a hundred times over, and have eternal life.
But then there will be many turnovers.
Some who left everything for me would go back and seek again earthly things.
Then some who have everything would leave everything to find me.”
Jesus asked some people to give up their way of life and buy into God’s way of life.
Jesus asked them to follow him.
Because then, they will experience God living through them.
But then no one is good enough to live God's life.
So, the Holy Spirit has to live in us so that we may be part of God’s movement.
Jesus will help people to experience the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit of God may live through them.
Then when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us:
The Holy Spirit can help us to choose Jesus over our possession.
The Holy Spirit can help us to choose Jesus’ freedom over our financial securities.
The Holy Spirit can help us to choose Jesus over our social statues.
The Holy Spirit can help us to choose Jesus over our reputation.
The Holy Spirit can help us to choose Jesus over our comfortableness.
The Holy Spirit can help us to see the worth of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit can help us to pay the cost of following Jesus.
The Holy Spirit can help us to help people to find this truth.
Jesus, help us to love you.
Help us to love you more than anything and anyone.
We pray this in your name.