June 21: The Way Into the Kingdom (Matthew 19:13-30)
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series on theology in the youth room at 9:00am addressing the the nature of the Bible and how we hear its words. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project on some basic interpretive principles for reading the Bible.
Matthew 19:13-30 (we will consider this whole passage, though only vv. 23-30 are provided below)
And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (ESV)
In this passage Jesus talks about how one could get into the kingdom of God by contrasting the faith of little children and the faith of a rich, prominent man. Jesus commends the faith of little children, which is characterized by a humble trust in someone whom they recognize to be stronger and more knowledgeable than they are, and yet at the same time, one who has their best interests in mind. This is the kind of faith that Jesus says we must have in order to enter the kingdom: a faith that completely trusts in Him and His finished work on the cross. Contrast this with the misplaced faith of the rich young man. He trusted in his own works and in his wealth - both counterfeit forms of grace that ultimately will be the barriers that keep him from entering the kingdom. Please read the passage with gratitude for God giving you the faith to trust in the person and finished work of Christ and ask for grace to let go of idols that continue to crowd our affections for Him.
Review and Apply
- What does it mean to have a child-like faith?
- What is the difference between having a "child-like" faith and a "childish" faith?
- Describe some characteristics of a "childish" faith.
- What was Jesus' intention when He challenged the rich young man/ruler to "go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." ?
- When Jesus said "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." was He saying that it's difficult or that it's impossible?
- We can all be like the rich young man/ruler in that we might have gifts from God that steal from our affections for Him. Consider what those things are and ask for grace to value the giver more than the gifts themselves.