Monday, October 15, 2018

Sermon October 13-14, 2018

Title: What we lack is found in Christ!
Text: Mark 10:17-22

20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 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.

As I began my week last Monday I said half jokingly to Debbie our secretary at the church, "I just did a sermon this weekend, I can't believe I have to get another ready!" But, that is how it is for you and me. We receive the Lord's forgiveness in worship and them stumble through the week both dead in sin and forgiven in Christ and we need to come back and receive that forgiveness once again.

"I, a poor miserable sinner, confess unto you all my sins and iniquities ...

Yes, that is who we are dead in sin. So we come back each week to hear the Good News and it is for that reason that I prepare a sermon each week that shows us our sin and also shows us our savior so that we can be forgiven, comforted, and renewed as we go back into this broken world for the week that lies ahead.

17 And as [Jesus] 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?”

Isn’t that the question most ask? What must I do? What can I expect? What do you expect of me?

We ask it in all aspects of life. We ask it of parents, at school, with friends, or groups of friends. We ask it as we grow older, at work, and at times we rail against those expectations. They expect too much.

How can I measure up to that we think?

As a hockey fan I look forward to the Red Wings season. Some might say anything less than the Stanley Cup is a failure. But with a new team and so many young players hew can that be our goal?
For some fans only achieving the ultimate prize … makes it a successful season. The Tigers are done again this year and the Lions are new once again and just getting started.

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The rich young man asks Jesus in our gospel lesson for today. As a rich young man he has achieved much success in his life.


To give you some perspective, how many of you know the name Dustin Moskovitz … No one?

Well, he is a billionaire. On May 18th 2012 he became an instant billionaire. He was the third employee hired by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. He was in charge of their technology and was so excited to get involved that he taught himself computer code over a weekend. He left the company in 2008 to peruse other interests, but in May of 2012 when Facebook went public he received over 5 billion dollars for his shares in the company. Like the man in our gospel lesson today … he is a rich young man.

At 28 he became a billionaire … at 34 he is worth over 12 billion dollars.

So Jesus asks first: “Why do you call me good? And tells him, No one is good except God alone.”

Jesus here sets the stage for what God requires. No one is good except God alone. But trying to go a bit deeper with this young man Jesus lays it out.

19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness [or] defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”

Jesus gives him half of the commandments. He says for a start, how do you do with these? And remember Jesus hasn’t asked him about the table of the law that deals with God.

You are to have no other Gods, do not misuse the name of the Lord your God and keep holy the Sabbath day.

Jesus just asks … how do you do with these interactions with your neighbor in the world?

The rich young man answers:

“Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”

And I’m sure there are people who think that they measure up well. “I’m pretty good they think.”

The Red wings pre-season record was 6-1 six wins, and one losses. In the eyes of we who are fans that was an acceptable record. May be this year won’t be so bad? If they win the Stanley Cup, we as Red Wing fans would rejoice! As the season begins that are in last place in their division …

0 wins
2 loss
2 overtime loss

But perfection for God is so much more than what we as fans expect.

Winning the Stanley cup would be great but perfection in the Lord’s eyes requires no mistakes, no goals against, no injuries, no penalties, no overtime - in fact the other team can’t possess the puck at all - because if they have the puck you’ve missed the mark by not having the it. No missed shots because every shot has to go in the net.

That’s perfection. That’s impossible, you might say … and it is.

Even as good as Miguel Cabrera is or has been, he makes an out almost 7 out of every ten times he comes to the plate and we revere him as a great hitter when our God would require 10 hits out of 10 at plate appearances.

That’s perfection. That’s impossible, you might say … and it is.

Jesus loved this young man so it may seem a bit funny what he says next.

“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.”

You only lack one thing. It’s your stuff. Jesus say, “Sell it all and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven!”

22 Disheartened [by what Jesus had said to him], he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

The other part of the law, the part about this man’s relationship between his stuff … and his God … has now come to light.

He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

It is not sinful to have stuff … as long as your stuff doesn’t have you I heard a pastor once say.


Guitars were my idol. I grew up wanting a better guitar. When I got that a nice acoustic guitar was next on the list on needs. After three my dad didn’t know how many I had. It was just a pile of cases in my room.

Joe Bonamassa is a guitarist. He is really good. I saw a meme on Facebook where he was standing on a stage with 20 or 30 guitars and it seemed as many amplifiers. The caption read: “Teach your children to love guitars and they won’t have money for drugs.”

It’s funny but true. My mom always knew where I was … down the basement with my band practicing. It kept me out of trouble but not focused on Jesus. My friend Rob, a great guitarist once said, “I use to worship the wood in my hands but now, by grace, I worship Jesus Christ and what he accomplished on the wood of the cross, for me.”

By God’s Holy Spirit he takes our eyes off of self and points us to Jesus, his cross, and the salvation he won for us there and the glorious resurrection that followed.

Where is your treasure?

The possessions we have, the work we do, and the things we save and treasure … the guitars for instance … will not measure up in God’s eyes. It is after all already his and it has been given to you … and how you use it can certainly benefit those in need, physically and spiritually.

There is nothing to be earned, because it has all been given. There is nothing to do, because it has all been done. Because of Christ, the good teacher, you have received God’s favor. Not for what you have or what you have done but because of what Christ has done for you.

The treasures on earth pale in comparison to the treasure God has in heaven for you.

What we lack is found in Christ!

Jesus says: come, follow me!

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit


No comments:

Post a Comment