Mark 10:17-27 #12
THE MAN WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT October 17, 2021
Greeting: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Text: 17) As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell on His knees before Him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18) “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered, “No one is good – except God alone. 19) You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” 20) “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21) Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” He said. “Go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22) At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23) Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24) The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard 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 man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26) The disciples were even more amazed and said to each other, “Who, then, can be saved?” 27) Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Introduction: This man in our story appeared to have it made. He was rich. He was young. He was powerful. He was religious. Best of all, he was loved by Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord. But spiritually speaking, this man’s story did not end in success and joy. In short, this man did not make it where he could have and should have. The story of the rich, young ruler is a story of a wasted life opportunity and an eternally tragic loss. But for us, it can be a story of eternal gain and endless joy. Far from it, we can learn some important lessons about spiritual success, about making it God’s way. Today, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, let us examine the man who didn’t make it.
1. He Struggled Seriously With Life’s Great Issue
The rich, young ruler was a man who struggled with life’s great issue. We say this to his credit. He had a good grasp of what was important in life. Mark writes: “A man ran up to Jesus and fell on his knees before Him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” The rich, young man was a man troubled by the important matter of eternal life. He is eager. Note that he runs to Jesus and falls on his knees before Him. His first words raised the subject of eternal life and how to get it.
The inquiring man is also headed in the right direction. He came to Jesus Christ for an answer. He is troubled. He is rich. He is young. He is influential. Yet He lacks a present peace of mind and the assurance of eternal blessedness. To his credit this man struggled with life’s great issue, eternal life and how a person gets it.
What is your relationship to life’s great issue? How concerned are you about having eternal life? Many people give the matter of eternal life a rather low priority in their lives. Some don’t even give it a thought. They view their life on earth as all the life there is and they don’t look beyond this world’s boundaries. Others give eternal life scant, infrequent attention. They are interested in the idea of eternal blessing, but their interest is shallow and passing. It dissipates when a new item comes up for consideration.
What about you? There are many important issues in life, issues such as preserving one’s health, financial security, protecting liberties, doing a good job, getting good grades, and caring well for our loved ones. But as important as those issues are, none of them are more important that the matter of gaining eternal life. Consider that our earthly life is short and uncertain. Time passes quickly. Relationships give meaning to life. Eternal life deals with our relationship to God. Someone highlighted the matter by saying: “Everything that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” Of all the things we can concern ourselves with, What matters most should be God our Creator, Savior and Judge; the life to come in eternity, and having a deep, settled peace with God now and forever. May eternal life with God be the priority of your life. May it be the prominent topic in your thoughts. May you devote all the energy necessary to find it , possess it, and preserve it.
2. He Held Firmly To Life’s Greatest Falsehood
The young man had a wonderful concern, but he made some tragic mistakes. He took hold of life’s greatest lie and did not let go of it. He wrongly trusted in his own goodness as the way to gain eternal life. He was under the assumption that eternal life is something he could earn or merit. So he asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” The man respected Jesus. Jesus asked him a question to help him think through in a serious way what true goodness is and then to see that his only hope for eternal life was in reliance on God.
Jesus then said, “You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” Jesus pointed this man to the Law of God, the divine, holy standard by which a person’s works are judged. If a person is to have eternal life by his own efforts and goodness, then he must do all that the Law commands without failing even once.
The man’s mistake became apparent. He said: “Teacher, all these I have kept since I was a boy.” He believed the greatest of lies, the lie that he had personally kept the law of God well enough so that he would have God’s approval. Now, he was not 100% convinced that he had already reached his goal. He felt that there was more he should be doing. His own troubled soul told him this. But he did believe that he was well on the way to earning his salvation. He thought all he had to do was add a few things to what he believed was the solid foundation of his previous obedience to God.
The rich, young ruler’s problem centered in his rejection of the true message of God’s law. It is important for everyone that he/she understand this clearly. We cannot invent our own answers to the question of inheriting eternal life. Only God’s revealed will in the Bible is to be the standard for getting the right answer about eternal life. Our human opinions and educated guesses of what God might accept are flawed by sin and incorrect. In His Word, God requires perfect obedience to the law. He requires from each of us a whole-hearted love for God and for people that flows from a delight in God Himself. Anything short of perfection in thought, word or deed is unacceptable. The young ruler thought that the law was the door to heaven. In fact, the law is a dead end, a sealed passageway in this regard. God’s law tells us that we are sinners without hope, not saints with a modest problem.
It is the law’s function to bring our satisfaction with this world to an end and to create in us a thirst for God’s righteousness and eternal life. The law exposes the great falsehood for what it is. The law would shake us free from all false delusions of saving ourselves. The young ruler foolishly clutched to this lie in the face of the law’s unchanging commands and clear condemnation. We should not make the same mistake. That’s not so easy to do. You see, we are born believing in the same lie that claimed the young man’s heart. Our sinful nature never stops trying to have this lie continue to rule our hearts. The stern, threatening message of God’s Law must always be applied so we are freed from and stay free of the control of the lie of salvation by our own moral effort and works. God thunders His solemn messages: “All have sinned. There is none righteous, not even one. Cursed is everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the Law. The wages of sin is death. No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the Law.” May God continue to dash any false, foolish hopes we may have that we are or can be good enough for God by our own efforts.
3. He Turned Tragically From Life’s Great Giver
Now we consider the second tragic mistake the rich, young ruler made. He turned away in unbelief from life’s great Giver. Jesus had told him the spiritual path to take that would lead to eternal life. The Holy Spirit was working through Jesus’ works to persuade him to follow that path. Now, the young man had an important choice to make. Sadly, he made the wrong choice. He chose earthly wealth over Jesus Christ. In spite of the ruler’s false belief, Mark tells us that Jesus loved him. Jesus loves us, not only when we are all straightened out, but even when we are all twisted up and confused. Jesus tried again to bring home to this man the necessity of replacing his false hopes of salvation with a true reliance on God.
“One thing you lack,” Jesus said. “Go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come, follow Me.” Jesus called the man to make an all-important choice. Jesus told the man to give up all his possessions in exchange for Christ and the great treasure Christ promised. Jesus called the man to give up what possessed him and what prevented him from having eternal life. He called the man to give up his possessions which had become his god. Jesus called the man to surrender himself in true faith to Jesus, the One and only One who freely gives the treasures of heaven. Upon hearing Jesus’ words, the man’s face fell and he walked away from Jesus, sad that he did not get the answer he wanted and disappointed in the message that Jesus had given him. He had great wealth, and when it came to choosing, the ruler chose his great wealth over the great Giver of all, Jesus Christ. He thought that Jesus was asking too much and so turned away from Him.
What a tragic turn this man made! He turned away from the great Giver of life, Jesus Christ. He foolishly forfeited heavenly treasure so he could retain his meager (by comparison) earthly standard of living. Let us not follow in this man’s foolish footsteps. May we see in Jesus Christ the great, indispensible Treasure. He is as the hymn declares, “Jesus, priceless Treasure, Fount of purest pleasure, truest Friend to me.” Material well-being can blind a person to the spiritual realities of life. Wealth can make even an earnest person forget what is infinitely more important. Jesus gives the treasures of heaven. No treasures compare to this: God gives the priceless gifts of forgiveness of sins, friendship with God, new direction in life and enthusiasm for living. He freely grants protection from spiritual enemies, provision of all we need, resurrection from death, and eternal joys in heaven. These gifts have a high pricetag. The treasures of heaven come at the cost of enduring the eternal wrath of God as payment for our sins. It is a price that we could never pay.
The rich, young ruler turned away from Christ. He would not surrender Himself to the great Giver. He had his earthly wealth in one hand and Jesus Christ in the other. He chose wealth, while discarding Christ. The call Jesus gave him to sell all he owned was specific to Him. Yet, coming to Jesus Christ involves surrendering all to Him – all that we are and all that we possess, all our loyalty and obedience. This surrender is a small thing to give to the Person, who suffered the wrath of God and the torments of hell for us. When God the Spirit, brings us to faith, we, in effect, hand everything to Christ. Then He hands it back to us, but now it is completely at His disposal, not ours.
May God help us in our spiritual turning. May He keep us from turning from Him and move us to always turn toward Him. May He keep us from seeking salvation by our own works, but instead help us rely on the perfect, sufficient works of Jesus. May He prevent us from serving ourselves as the Master of our lives, but instead to serve Jesus as our only Lord and King.
There are always lessons for us to learn and relearn. Through the rich, young ruler God teaches us that the great issue of life is to have eternal life; that the great lie of life is to believe that we can meet God’s requirements by ourselves; that the great choice in life is to turn from sin to faith in Christ. You have heard about the man who didn’t make it. By the grace of Christ, may you be one of the men and women who do. Amen.
To Jesus, who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)
Church phone: 417.887.0886 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244
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The Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost October 17, 2021
“Seek good and not evil, so that you may live, and then it will be like this for you: The Lord, the God of Armies, will be with you, as you claim. “ Amos 5:14
F o r O u r V i s i t o r s
We extend a warm and sincere welcome in our Savior’s name. Please sign our guest book, located to the right just outside the sanctuary. If you desire more information about Zion Lutheran Church or are in need of spiritual guidance, please call upon our pastor at any time. We are delighted to have you join us today and invite you to return soon.
U p o n E n t e r i n g G o d’ s H o u s e
“You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. From everlasting to everlasting You are God. You have set our iniquities before You. Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90).
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
Seek the LORD and Live. In fall the appointed Scriptures gradually shift our attention to the end of all things and our preparation for it. All that is of the earth is temporary. Soon it will be gone at Jesus’ return. But the Word of God is eternal and His promises last forever. They prepare us for the judgment that will come at the end of this age. They teach us to seek the Lord and find our life in Him in the present.
If we seek Him, it soon becomes evident that we cannot match His greatness. What must we do to pass the judgment safely and inherit eternal life? “It’s impossible for you to do,” God declares. “But not for me. Look to Jesus and live through faith. Seek Him with all your heart.”
To that end we pray: Grant, O merciful LORD, to Your faithful people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their sins and prepared in faith for Your judgment. Thus, we will be able to serve You with a quiet mind in the present; through Jesus Christ, our LORD. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: Amos 5:6,7,10-15
God takes His law seriously. Woe to the one who doesn’t. The leaders in Israel were unfaithful in ruling and ran over God’s law and His people for their own benefit. Social evil abounded and justice was not carried out. The prophet admonishes them to seek the LORD and live in Him.
The Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 3:1-6
How can we endure the judgment since we are only flesh and blood? We endure through Jesus who is superior to the angels and greater than Moses as the Son over God’s house. In Him we live as we hold on to the courage and confidence of our hope that is placed in Him as the Savior.
The Gospel Lesson: Mark 10:17-27
A rich man approached Jesus with a question on eternal life. He was devoted to keeping the law, but not to finding His life in the Savior.
O u r P r a c t i c e o f H o l y C o m m u n i o n
The Lord’s Supper is a wonderful gift in which we receive Jesus’ own body and blood to forgive our sins and strengthen us in faith. It is a gift given with certain responsibilities. The Sacrament is intended for those who have been instructed, understand, and confess as one what they are receiving and doing. Through it we express our unity of faith (1 Cor.10:17). Therefore, we ask that only confirmed members of Zion Lutheran Church or our sister congregations of the WELS or ELS approach to receive Communion. If you would like to become a communicant member of Zion or have any questions about our practice, the pastor would be happy to meet with you after the service.
The Organist: Jane Rips The Preacher: Rev. James Witt
Point to Ponder: When the Lord Jesus says in our Gospel Lesson today, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God…. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” He is not telling us to despise our wealth and to get rid of it or declare ourselves separate from it like the monks of old did. We should not despise anything which God has graciously given us for His glory and our good. As Martin Luther once said in a sermon on this lesson: “Wealth is God’s gift. One should not discard it; one should thank God for it and use it in a Christian manner.”
Martin Luther on Wealth is God’s Gift. Use it as Such
Outline of Our Worship
Opening Hymn: #221
Order of Worship: Service of Word and Sacrament Hymnal page 26
The Ministry of the Word
Hymn Response: #441
The Gospel Response: pg.30
Sermon Hymn: #355
Sermon: Mark 10:17-27 Meet the Man Who Didn’t Make It
Our Response to the Word
The Nicene Creed: page 31
The Offering & Prayers Hymnal page 32
Lord, Bless Us
Order of Holy Communion: Hymnal pages 33-35
(Visitors: Please read box inside about the practice of Holy Communion)
Distribution Hymn: #477
Thanksgiving & Blessing: Hymnal pages 36-37
The Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost – Series B
Old Testament: Amos 5:6,7,10-15 – Seek the LORD and Live!
6Seek the Lord and live, or he will rush upon the house of Joseph like fire. The fire will consume, and no one will extinguish it for Bethel.
7There are some who turn justice into wormwood, who throw righteousness to the ground.
10There are those who hate an arbitrator in the city gate. They despise anyone who speaks honestly.
11That is why you trample on the poor, and you collect taxes on their grain. You have built houses of cut stones, but you will not live in them. You have planted choice vineyards, but you will not drink their wine.
12For I know that your rebellious deeds are many, and your sins are numerous, you who are enemies of a righteous man, you who take bribes. They thrust away needy people in the city gate.
13That is why a prudent man will be silent in that time, because it is an evil time.
14Seek good and not evil, so that you may live, and then it will be like this for you: The Lord, the God of Armies, will be with you, as you claim. 15Hate evil and love good. Establish justice in the city gate. Perhaps the Lord, the God of Armies, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 3:1-6 – Christ Is Superior to Moses.
1Holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, focus your attention on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2He was faithful to the one who appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in God’s whole house. 3Jesus is worthy of greater glory than Moses, in the same way that the builder of a house has more honor than the house. 4For every house is built by someone, and God is the one who built everything.
5Moses was faithful as a servant within God’s whole house by testifying to the things that would be spoken. 6But Christ is faithful as a Son over God’s house. We are his house, if we hold on firmly to our confidence and the hope about which we boast until the end.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 10:17-27 – The Rich Young Ruler
17As Jesus was setting out on a journey, one man ran up to him and knelt in front of him. He asked, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. 19You know the commandments. ‘You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony. You shall not defraud. Honor your father and mother.’”
20The man replied, “Teacher, I have kept all these since I was a child.”
21Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22When he heard this, he looked sad and went away grieving, because he had great wealth. 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus told them again, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in their riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26They were even more astonished and said to one another, “Who then can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “For people, it is impossible, but not for God, because all things are possible for God.”
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.
C a l e n d a r & A n n o u n c e m e n t s f o r Z i o n L u t h e r a n C h u r c h
Divine Worship Service
with Holy Communion
Fellowship & Brief Bible Study
|11 am Midweek Bible Class
4:30 Confirmation Class
Divine Worship Service
online – Facebook
Fellowship & Quarterly Meetings
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
It is easy to get one’s priorities mixed up, especially when it comes to the importance of material and temporal things. Material things are to be used for the glory of God. When we forget this, things become number one in a person’s life. God in Christ provides for all the necessities of life—including the greatest necessity—forgiveness of sin. He places within the believer’s heart proper priorities. In addition, God promises everlasting treasure in heaven.
The Gospel Lesson: Mark 10:17-27 (answers are found on the back side)
- What is Jesus trying to accomplish with the request He makes of the rich young ruler?
- What does Jesus want the disciples to realize when He contrasts the camel with the eye of a needle?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Clyde Johnson; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Norine Richardson; Jodi Milam; William & Laurie Moon; Patsy Mickelson; Pauline Jaeger; Dave Ballou now in rehab at Quail Creek Nursing Home; Lois Wiese; Barbara Long; John Workentine, Schulz’s brother-in-law; Khendra Murdoch’s husband, Jason.
Thank You to Pastor James Witt for leading the worship service. Pastor Lehmann and Liz are with their daughter Sara’s family in Cottonwood, AZ. They were to have travelled last May, but the Covid situation prevented them. They will be returning home this coming Tuesday evening, October 19. If need should arise, please contact Jim Inniger or another council member. Also, you may call Pastor Tim Buelow in Carthage at 417.388.4374.
Christianworship.com or NPH.net is where you need to go to find out more about the new WELS hymnal and its resource books. There is quite a bit of material that you can peruse to get a feel for the worship materials that are becoming available. Not everything is completed at this time. It takes months to have everything published. But you can review that which is presently available and which is still being produced to help with worship and planning for it. All is scheduled for completion by December or early next year. Again we invite you to look through the new hymnal and psalter book. There is a copy of each on a table in the fellowship hall.
No Face Mask Regulations Facemasks are not required in a church setting in Springfield. If you feel more comfortable wearing a face mask, you may certainly do so. Masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer are in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use.
Friday-Saturday, November 12-13 – LWMS sponsored Women’s Retreat at Lake of the Ozarks Heit’s Point;
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 23; Bible Class:12 ; Midweek Bible Class: no class this past week; Offerings: $2,757.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Pentecost 22: Isaiah 53:10-12; Hebrews 4:9-16; Mark 10:35-45 (CW 3 Year Series B)
Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:
- Jesus gives the rich young ruler a liberal dose of the Law, asking that he go and sell everything he has and give to the poor. He wants the man to see that his possessions had become his god. In doing so, Jesus wanted the young man to recognize he could be sure of eternal life only through faith in Jesus Christ.
- People in Jesus’ day were familiar with the camel as the largest beast of burden they used. They were also aware of just how small the eye of a needle was. When Jesus compared the largest with the smallest, He quickly got the idea that it was impossible by human means to save oneself from sin and enter into the Kingdom of God.
This week I am praying for……