MS WEEK #28: The First Will Be Last

Sean Duncan speaking on Mark 10:12-31. He spoke of how those who recognize they have nothing are the ones who inherit the kingdom of Heaven, for they are completely dependent on Jesus. He explains how there is no way we can earn or buy our way into Heaven, the only way is through Jesus, and asks if Jesus asked you to leave everything to follow him, would you?

I drive a blue Honda Civic. It’s not the best looking, but it’s reliable, There’s a small oil leak so it leaves a small pool of oil wherever I park it, but I don’t know how to fix it. I am completely dependent on taking it to a mechanic. In this section, if shows someone who is also completely dependent on someone else.

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. 

The least in society are not hindered to see God, God and his Kingdom are for the low in society. God deeply cares for them.

Children depend on someone else to provide for them- they they represent the helpless of society. Children don’t have money, don’t own possessions of goods. They don’t have land or any power in society. They don’t get to vote, are physically weak, and are dependent on someone else to provide for them; clothes, food, and housing.

Jesus says the Kingdom of God; eternal peace, joy, God’s presence, human flourishing; belongs to people like this. The least in society. 

Those who have nothing know that they have nothing. And they know that they are dependent on someone else. It is because of this that these are the types of people that will inherit the Kingdom.

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. How do the low in society inherit the Kingdom and eternal life?

It is those who are poor and have nothing who are more likely to see their need for God. especially the poor in spirit. having nothing makes you see you need someone for everything. And that someone is Jesus.

If all you have is Christ you have enough.

Those who enter the Kingdom are completely dependent on Jesus as the reason they can enter. The person who enters the Kingdom is the one who recognizes they have nothing to offer the King, they just trust in the King for what they need.

How many of you had someone drive you here this morning? Who had someone wake you up? How many of you payed for the place that you live in, or for the clothes on your back.?You’re all dependent on the one who provides for you in your life, whoever that might be.

All of you in this room are dependent on someone for at least something in your life. But I would challenge you all to consider how you see your relationship with God. 

Do you see yourself as completely dependent on Jesus for citizenship in heaven?Let us recognize that we are completely dependent on Jesus for everything.

If all you have is Christ you have enough. The person who has nothing is now going to be compared to the one who seems to have everything.

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

Good here means completely moral and perfect in way and deed. And this man running up to Jesus thinks that what makes someone ‘good’ is simply what they do and say. But Jesus is going to challenge the man on his understanding of what makes one ‘good’.

Good in this sense, completely moral and perfect in way and deed, is not just a quality of what someone does, it is a quality of someone’s essence and being. And as we will see that amount that are good is very few. In fact, there is only one being who is completely moral and perfect in way and deed. 

18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 

Now Jesus doesn’t go on to call him a liar or say he has committed these sins but look what he says, verse 21.

21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 

This man is a pretty decent guy! And he lives a moral life! Honors his parents, doesn’t cheat people out of money, he doesn’t steal, doesn’t commit adultery, he’s not a murderer. 

And at this time in society in the first century, actually much like today, people equate God’s blessing on people by the possessions they have. Having great possessions people would think, ‘Ah, This person must be really godly since God favors this person’.

And I think a lot of us in the room might think this way or have thought this way before. We think that if someone has a lot of things, or if they have a nice life, they must be doing things right according to God so God gives them things. But Jesus is cutting down that idea.

And maybe some of you think that all you need to enter heaven is what the rich man had. Do the right thing in life. respect your parents. Don’t cuss. Clean your room. Be nice to people. Don’t do the wrong thing in life. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Don’t murder. And be rich and successful, own a big house and a lot of land.

If you think that this is what it takes to enter heaven, than Jesus’ message to the rich man is the same as it is to you.

Out of all the great possessions the man has, and all the moral deeds he has done, and all the bad things he has refrained from, Jesus says he is missing one thing.

“You lack one thing….me”

The rich man with many great possessions was not following Jesus as his Lord and Savior. And that is what he was missing.

Jesus calls all people, you and me, to follow him. 

And you can have everything in the world, and yet if you aren’t following Jesus, you lack what you need to inherit eternal life.

If you think you will enter into heaven and inherit eternal life based off of anything you have or anything you’ve done I would implore you to repent of that, turn from that thought and turn to Christ. the only one who inherits eternal life is the one who follows Jesus. You need Jesus and Jesus alone to enter heaven. Accept him as Lord and savior.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 

Why does Jesus say it will be difficult for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom of God?

Remember, Those who enter the Kingdom are completely dependent on Jesus as the reason they can enter. The person who enters the Kingdom is the one who recognizes they have nothing to offer the King, they just trust in the King for what they need.

If you are wealthy and well off in life, It is difficult to see your need, unlike one who is like a child. When you are a child you are completely dependent on others. But if you are successful and rich, you tend to depend on no one but yourself. And thats’ a dangerous thought. 

Remember, people at this time would tend to think that the rich and morally upright person has God’s favor.

It is dangerous to think you’ll be fine on your own. To think you can stand before God and enter heaven based off your own accomplishment.

Because look at what Jesus says to the disciples questions.

In verse 26 ,they ask “If the rich person can’t be saved, “Who can be saved?”

Jesus replies “With man it is impossible, but not with God”.

With man alone, it does not matter whether you have absolutely nothing in life and your life is full of sin, or if you have everything in life and live morally upright, neither will enter the kingdom of God on their own. Neither will enter heaven based off of what they have or can offer.

It is impossible to enter Heaven without Jesus. Remember what he said, ‘you lack one thing’.

If all you have is Jesus, you have enough.

And if you have everything in the world, You still have nothing without Jesus.

Remember what Jesus says the man is lacking. The man is lacking following Jesus.

28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” 

Having everything in the world does not compare to the riches Jesus offers his followers in the Kingdom, in eternal life.

When following Jesus he may ask you to leave behind everything you have. Not always, but sometimes he will. And if he does ask you to leave things behind, he does not ask simply that you leave things for his sake. He says what you will gain from following Him is 100 times better and more abundant than anything you can and will ever have in this life. 

If you leave your siblings to follow Christ? You will gain an abundance of brothers and sisters in the church. If you leave family to follow Jesus? You will gain an enormous family in Christ.

Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean you will be rich in this life, or have a big house, or an amazing job, or straight A’s, or a ton of friends. In fact he says following him comes with persecution, but only for a time being. Our hope is not just in this life, our hope is in the life to come when God will renew the heavens and the earth and those in Christ will inherit eternal life.

Don’t seek possession, seek Jesus. Seek him by accepting him as your Lord and savior. Seek him by reading his word. Seek him by proclaiming his gospel. Seek him by living for him.

And if Jesus asked you to give up everything to follow him, would you be able to do it? Your favorite possession. Your bed at home. Your xbox. Your phone. Your family. Would you say yes to Jesus over those things? Would you see Jesus as more valuable and more needed than those things?

Let’s think about these two people that we have seen in this section of God’s word.

One is a child, the other is a rich man.

One has no money, the other has an abundance of money.

One has no possessions, the other has great possessions.

One has no power in society, the other is a powerful force in society.

One has no land, the other has land.

One needs everything from someone, the other needs nothing from anyone.

One has nothing,  the other has everything.

And BOTH of these people need Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to inherit eternal life. 

If all you have is Jesus, you have enough.

And if you have everything in the world, you still have nothing without Jesus.

Our entrance into heaven is dependent on one thing and one thing alone, and that’s wether or not we have turned for our sin and taken Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. 

The richest man there is, Jesus, became poor by taking on human flesh, stepping into humanity, and by dying on a cross to pay for the sins of those who believe. The innocent man, the Christ, paid the price of the guilty. All so that those who believe in him could inherit his riches, eternal life. Through Jesus’ righteous life, when we believe in him so also are we seen as righteous, inside and out. An through Jesus’ death on the cross, when we trust in him our sin has been put on Christ and paid for.

So I don’t know where you all are in your life. Whether you have a lot of possessions and live a comfortable life, or if you have nothing, and your home life is pretty bad.

But wherever you are at, if you don’t have Christ, you are lacking the one thing you need. So if you’re a believer of Jesus I encourage you to continue seeking after him, and see him as more valuable than anything else you could possibly have. 

And if you are not a believer of Jesus I beg you to take him as Lord and Savior. You can have everything in the world, but even that is not enough to enter eternal life. With man it is impossible, but with God it is possible. The person with nothing and the person with everything both need Jesus. So trust in him.

If all you had was Jesus, you’d have enough. And if you had everything in the world, Jesus would still be better. 

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