Mark 10:17-22’ And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
What went wrong here? This guy had so many things going right. The Bible says, “Jesus looked at him and loved him. . .”
1. He was full of enthusiasm. “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running...”
This guy really wanted an answer to his spiritual question. He probably saw Jesus and his disciples leaving town and had to run to catch up.
TRUTH: Being a Christ-follower is more than being sincere.
This guy was sincere, but he didn’t have the commitment necessary to carry him all the way into a relationship with Jesus.
2. He came to the right person. “He knelt before Him [Jesus]...”
Look at all the places he could have gone for answers: The Jewish rabbis, the
TRUTH: Being a Christ-follower is more than admitting that Jesus has good advice.
Many people today are willing to say Jesus was “a great moral teacher.” But when it comes to admitting that Jesus is LORD – that he deserves control of every part of my life, then they aren’t willing to say that.
There’s a popular teaching going around that says, you can accept Christ as your Savior, but you don’t have to accept him as LORD of your life.
Story of a lesbian who “accepted Christ as Savior” and lived for 13 years in her lifestyle, until she decided to accept him as LORD.
That teaching is NOWHERE in the Bible. That’s NOT the way it works. When you come to Jesus, you accept him for who he IS. . . and he IS LORD just like he is Savior!
3. He asked the right question. "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
Didn’t come asking, “How can I make my life more fulfilling?”
He didn’t come asking, “How can I make sure my family has all their needs supplied?”
He recognized the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION!
TRUTH: Being a Christ-follower is more than knowing you need to be saved.
4. He was a good man. “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
WOW! This guy had been a really good person! He hadn’t slept around. He hadn’t lied. He hadn’t stolen. He hadn’t dishonored his father and mother.
TRUTH: Being a Christ-follower is more than keeping rules.
Have you ever been to a funeral and heard them say “He was a good man”?
I want to stand up and say, “No, you’ve missed the point! Was he a SAVED man? Was he a follower of Jesus, or did he just keep a few rules?”
Jesus pushes aside the large commitments that this guy had made, and said, “what about this 5% that you’re not willing to give?”
Jesus still does that today. Jesus loved this man, and he loves you. . . SO MUCH that he’ll be willing to look at you and ask you the hard question. “What about this area of your life? Are you willing to let it go to follow me?”
Let me ask you: What is it that’s keeping you from being a fully committed follower of Jesus Christ?
Here’s how to surrender your life to Jesus Christ: Get rid of the excuses.
Excuse #1: Someone.
"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters. . . he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
The word translated “hate” in Greek = LOVE LESS
- You’re afraid what they might think.
- You’re afraid you might lose them.
One pastor prayed with a person once during a come-forward invitation at the close of a service. The girl suddenly stopped praying, and pastor asked “Is there something that God is talking to you about?” The girl replied that there was her boyfriend who was not a Christian. She knew she would have to love God more than she did her boyfriend, and the Bible says, “Don’t be yoked together with unbelievers...” the pastor asked, “Are you willing to give that to God?” The girl looked up and looked him in the eye and said, “No pastor. I won’t do it.” She got up and walked away from the altar. She got what she wanted. She married the man, who cheated on her. Last I heard, she’s on her 3rd marriage. . .
Get rid of that excuse!
Excuse #2: Someday
Then another of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (Mathew 8:21)
EXPLAIN: Jesus isn’t saying to this guy, “No, you can’t go to your father’s funeral.” Before striking out on your own, at times you would wait until your father died, and accept your part of your inheritance. He was saying, “Let me wait until my father dies and I get my inheritance, THEN I’ll follow you.”
- You think you’ll do it later.
- You want to “have some fun first.”
- You want to “make a bundle” before following Jesus.
Augustine, the great Christian writer, was famous for praying before he truly became a follower of Jesus Christ, “Lord, make me pure. . . but not yet.”
Excuse #3: Something
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:21-22)
- You think you can’t give up. (Addictions?)
- You don’t want to give up. (Money, sex, lying)
- You’re afraid God might want you to
Excuse #4: Somewhere
Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Mathew 8:19-20)
Are you willing to go where I’m going? Are you willing to leave comforts behind? What if I call you to be a missionary, or go on a mission trip? What if I call you to leave your job and go into full-time ministry?
Get rid of that excuse! Tell Jesus, “I’ll follow you anywhere!”
Have you ever gone swimming for the first time, and made the mistake of sticking your toe or your foot in the water before jumping in? How many of you have said this phrase: “You’ve got to just jump in. If you keep just sticking your toe in the water, you’ll never get in”?
Following Jesus is like that. You can live your life dabbling around the edges, obeying a few rules, trying to be a good person, attending church, and all that. . . but Jesus today is talking to you, and he’s saying, “Why not plunge into a real LOVE relationship with me? Why not truly follow me starting today?”
Don’t do it halfway. . . it won’t work.