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The Rich, Young Ruler - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2023 8:00 am

The Rich, Young Ruler - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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April 4, 2023 8:00 am

This is the fourth of five messages from Pastor Mark Webb in the series Glimpses of Grace from the Gospel of Luke.

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Good evening once again. Good to see you here tonight and hope you had a good day and are ready to go this evening.

Again, it's been such a pleasure to be here with you. We've enjoyed these days and just pray that the Lord might be lifted up this evening, that we would understand His word and be edified by it. If we have any fogginess, may the Lord remove that from our eyes that we see clearly and plainly what our Lord has to say to us. Tonight, because we're dealing with an interesting passage and it's one that's well known.

I'm sure you've probably read this many, many times. You've probably heard many, many sermons, much better than what I'm going to preach tonight on this subject and on this passage. But it is an extremely important passage for us to understand some things. And one of the things we, I hope by now you're beginning to see, is that as we've gone through what I call these glimpses of grace from the Gospel of Luke, that grace is not just an amazing thing, it's a surprising thing. It just keeps catching us sort of off guard. We don't anticipate the outcome of these things. We've already had a few cases of that, the parable that we looked at last night. You know, anybody looking at this will say, of course, it's the elder brother that's going to get into the feast.

And instead, he is excluded and the younger brother gets in who's wasted his father's living over there with Ritus, Ritus living, and has come back at the last minute. Brother Don McKinney, did you ever know Brother Don? Wonderful man, pastored for years down in Lake Charles, Louisiana. And he was telling us a story about two ladies in his church that like to get out and walk in the neighborhood. And they were out there walking and one of these ladies was a member of his church and they were walking by his church building. And the other lady said to the lady that was a member there, do you know what they teach in there? And so she plays dumb.

She says, no, what? And she said, they teach that someone can live a good, decent, moral life and die and go to hell. And somebody who has just been an out and out scandal all their life and repent on their deathbed and go to heaven. Can you believe such a thing as that? Well, I hope you can believe that. That is what Paul calls the offense of the cross.

And so we keep seeing these surprising things. I was tempted, didn't do it, I resisted, but I was tempted to go back into the earlier verses here in Luke 18 where we have two men praying in the temple. One a Pharisee, one a publican, and guess who goes down to their house justified? Now, it would seem to everybody there's got to be this Pharisee. I mean, he's the religious man.

He's doing all the right things. And instead, the text says, this man, speaking of the publican, went down to his house justified rather than the other. The one who could only smote his breast and cry, Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner. So here we're going to see another one of those surprises this evening in this man we call the rich, young ruler. I say that because we have the luxury of having this story repeated in three synoptic gospels. And in Matthew 19, verse 20, he's called young. In our text, in verse 18, he's called a ruler. And then all three accounts identify him as rich. So, rich, young, ruler is how he has come to be known to us. I can almost see Peter and John goosing each other as they watch this man come running to Jesus. That's how Matthew's account puts it.

Came running to Jesus and kneeling before him. And I can see them sort of thinking, man, till now this movement has just, you know, we just attracted a few common folks, fishermen, tax collector, too. But now we're beginning to attract the big fish.

Looky here. Here's a man respectable, he's a ruler, and he's rich. And can you imagine their disillusionment, their disappointment at the end when they see him walk away very sorrowful? He who has come running to Jesus, he's not only come to the right man, but he's come asking the right question. What must I do to inherit eternal life?

I mean, that ought to be the question everybody wants to ask, right? How do I get to heaven? By the way, I want you to realize that that is one way of three ways to say the same thing. Here in this passage, you'll notice that first of all, he says, how can I have eternal life? In verse 18, then down in verse 24, Jesus says, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God?

And then the disciples in verse 26 says, Who then can be saved? Those are not three different things. They're just three different ways of saying the exact same thing. To have or inherit eternal life is the same thing as entering into the kingdom of God, which is the same thing that they mean by being saved.

Now, we tend to use that last term more often, but any one of these can be inserted. So don't think that entering the kingdom is something different than being saved. It is the same thing.

You understand that? But notice right off the bat, Jesus sort of picks at his question. He called him good master, good teacher, good rabbi. It's interesting that in the rabbinical literature, I'm taking their word for it.

I've certainly not scanned it all, but they say they never call their rabbis good rabbi, good teacher. This is an unusual expression. What exactly does this mean? Why did he employ this phrase? And that is, notice what Jesus immediately comes back to him with in verse 19, Jesus said unto them, Why are you calling me good?

There's none good but one that is God. What is Jesus driving at here? Matthew's account puts his question a little bit differently. There he says, What good thing must I do to inherit eternal life? It would seem that this man who sees himself as a relatively good man has come to the good teacher to tell him what good thing he can do so that he can be good. Good enough.

Right? In other words, if we're thinking back to that grading on the curve, how good is enough? How good do you have to be to go to heaven? And so he's come to the good man to get the good answer of what he must do so that he can be good.

I believe that's what's going on. Now, there are others who say that Jesus is reply here. It gives him a conundrum that he's addressed. Jesus as a good teacher in Christ is saying, No, there's just one good. That's God.

So I'm either God or I'm not good. One of the other that could be part of this as well. But I tend to think that what we're seeing here is a man who is coming to Jesus expressing his religion. I don't mean necessarily the Jewish religion. I mean that religion, which is common to all men everywhere.

All religion except with one exception all over the face of the earth. And it's the religion of legalism that the way that you get something from your God is that it's a bargain. It's a deal. Let's make a deal.

Remember that old TV program? We're going to make a deal. We give our God something so that we can get something. Notice that it is a manipulation of God. You're not doing this because you love God, but you're doing this to get something out of God. Pagan religion, if you've studied it in every system I've ever looked at, has this element to it that I give you something to get something. All systems of false Christianity have that at its heart. I'm going to bargain with God.

I will give you this in order to get this. There's just one exception, and I think you know which one it is. This thing we call the gospel that operates not by works, not by merit, not by achievement, but by free grace. And so here comes a man who is thinking in terms of the natural man, the natural man's religion, if you will. So Jesus is immediately beginning to correct him.

And he points this man, as you'll see in verse 20, to the law of Moses. He's asked, how can I have eternal life? It's similar to the question that the Philippian jailer asked Paul, right?

Remember the earthquake? The bonds are loose. The Philippian jailer says, what must I do to be saved?

Same question. And Paul says what? If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then thou shalt be saved. Doesn't Jesus know that you can't be saved by the works of the law?

Well, of course he does. But this man doesn't know it. You see, it's a completely different situation when you've got a Philippian jailer about to fall on his sword and to commit hairy-carry as this man who comes up asking, I'm pretty good already.

I just need to know what it is that will push me over the top. That will assure me that I shall inherit eternal life. And so Christ points him to the law.

Now, why would he do that? Well, I want you to realize that Jesus is terribly consistent. This is not the first time in Luke's gospel that this question has been asked. Go back to Luke 10 just a minute. In Luke 10, in verse 25, we read that a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, testing him, trying him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Same question the rich young ruler is asking. What does Jesus say? He said unto him, what is written in the law? How readest thou?

What does the law say? You see how Jesus goes exactly to the same place and this man replies, Well, I read, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, all thy strength, thy mind, thy neighbor as thyself. And he, Jesus said unto him, Thou hast answered right.

You got it. This do and thou shalt live. Can I translate that into redneck for you? Get er done. And he, willing to justify himself, says, Who is my neighbor?

Wait a minute, let's talk about this thing a minute. Who is my neighbor? And Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan, showing clearly who your neighbor is, whoever the providence of God puts you in contact with. And he ends that story of the Good Samaritan in verse 36, asking which one was the neighbor, which one did the good thing, loved his neighbor. And he answers, He that showed mercy on him and then said Jesus unto him, Go and do thou likewise.

Get er done. To anyone who thinks they can be saved by their own doing, Jesus is consistent. He always points them to the law of Moses. Turn to Galatians, chapter three.

I want to submit to you, I would ask this way, this question. Is the law a true way to life? Is it a real way of life that if you keep the law, will you be rewarded with life?

I would answer hypothetically, yes. You look back at the closing chapters of Deuteronomy and Moses is preaching these sermons to Israel. And in one of those he says, I set before you death and life, choose life as you might live. And you say, OK, let's see, here's life and here's death. Yeah, I believe I'll choose life. Duh. But he goes on to say that what's involved in choosing life is that you obey this law, that you keep these commandments.

You understand? He's promising life upon total obedience. So hypothetically, yes, there is this way of life. But practically speaking, is the law a way of life?

Down in Mexico, they have an expression, de ninguna menera, the way we would translate that into English is no way, no how. Turn to Galatians chapter 2. Here states Paul, this thing I've just uttered, Galatians 2 verse 15. Paul is correcting Peter here who has separated to the Gentiles these law keepers when he's been eating with the Gentiles. And notice Paul says, we who are Jews by nature and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Do you realize he's saying the same thing three times?

If you're a little slow here, slow on the draw, over and over he's repeating this same proposition. By the works of the law shall no man be justified in the sight of God. Go back to this question, what's the good thing I can do so I'll be good enough to be acceptable to God? And God tells us in Psalm 14 there is none good. There's only one good, that's what Christ is saying here. In fact, all of our goodness comes from Him. He loved us, we love Him because He first loved us, and if we have any goodness in us, it's because of the good God who has given it to us. James tells us that every good gift, every perfect gift comes from where? In here?

From up there. So everything we call good has its source in God Almighty and that never, no how, no way can we justify ourselves by our own doing. Notice in Galatians 3, if you're still there in Galatians, there's an interesting section here in verse 10. Galatians 3 verse 10, for as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. Everyone who's trying to get justification by the means of the law, you're all under this curse.

How's that? Because the law says, curse it is everyone that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. What does the law require? Not just that you think the law is a good idea, but you must do the law. How much? You must do all the law.

How long? You must do continually the law. Now notice as you read on here, Paul again reiterates for the fourth time in verse 11, but that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident for the just shall live by faith. He quotes another passage out of Habakkuk that the way to justification is not the law, it's this way of faith. And the law, verse 12, this is important, the law is not a faith.

Realize that Paul is using the word faith here as a shorthand word, a shorthand way of talking about faith in another, faith in someone else. The law does not point you to trust someone else. The law points you straight to yourself. And he goes on to say, the law is not a faith.

The man that doeth them shall live in them. You don't have to do it if you want to be under that system. How can I put this? It's like riding a bicycle. You've got to keep pedaling. I mean, I don't get on a bicycle very much these days because it's a long way to the ground. But when I was little, I used to ride a bicycle. And one thing I know about riding bicycles, you stop pedaling before long, you're going to fall over, right?

And that's what Paul is saying. You've got to do it. You've got to keep doing it.

You've got to do it all. The law just doesn't give you any other horsepower than your power. It's sort of like the fellow that rode the stick horse. You know what a stick horse is? I don't see them anymore.

Are they still selling them? The man that rode a stick horse to town, they asked him how was his ride. He said, well, it was all right, but I'm just about as tired as if I had walked. Now, my friend, the only horsepower the law is ever going to give you is a stick horse. That's the point that Paul is making here in Galatians, proving to us that, in other words, the law says it's up to you. The law doesn't give you a substitute. The law doesn't point you to put your trust in someone else.

The law says get her done. And so we come back to our text in Luke 18, and we begin to see then the point. Jesus lists some commandments here. Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. You honor your father and your mother. And I want to point out about those commandments.

Those are the easy ones. Because notice that every single one of them deal with the outward action. And so it's entirely possible that this man, when he says all these things have I kept from my youth, that he's not lying. Jesus never takes him to task for that. Maybe he has. Maybe he never talked back to his mom and dad. Maybe he's never stolen anything or committed adultery with somebody's wife. But those are the easy ones.

They deal with outward acts. You notice Jesus didn't bring up that one that Paul says got him. The tenth, no matter how much you've done, no matter how good you've been, because the question is how good is good enough? You say, well, were you sincere? Well, yeah, I was sincere, but was I sincere enough?

And by the way, how sincere is sincere enough? You see what I'm saying? You can't ever stop peddling.

You've got to keep aspiring to it. And legalism leaves you hanging. There is never a place where you can hang your hat and say, there, that's it. It's finished. It's enough. And so there's this sense that, yes, there's still, I know, I sense within myself there's still something missing.

What do I lack? And Jesus puts his finger right on the problem. Go sell everything you've got and give it to the poor and come follow me. You want to inherit eternal life? You want to enter this kingdom? Then come follow me. You can either choose your riches, your wealth, or you can choose entering the kingdom.

But you can't have both. And Jesus, in saying that, the man is very sorrowful and he goes away because he's very rich. And what Jesus is showing is that the man, he's never kept the first tablet of the law to love God with all we are.

In other words, what Jesus is pointing out is his covetousness, which Paul says is idolatry. His wealth is his God. And secondly, he doesn't even keep the second greatest commandment, love your neighbor as yourself, because if he did, it wouldn't be a problem to go give his neighbor his money, right? If I truly love my neighbor as much as I love me, I can give my money to him.

That's not a problem. So maybe for the first time in this man's life, he's staring straight at the demands of God's holy law and he realizes he does not measure up. And back to this point, you can have one or other. Jesus has just a few chapters earlier said, you can serve God or you can serve mammon, but you can't serve both. Is this demand that Christ put on this rich young ruler, is it unique? In other words, is this something peculiar just to this man and to just this man's situation? And there are those who say yes.

In fact, some of the commentators will say, well, we don't see Jesus ever telling anybody else to do this, just this man. So in other words, before you get real worried that you're going to have to surrender your 401K to the Lord tonight, put it in the offering plate, you say, well, yeah, this was for this guy. I mean, after all, I'm not rich. Well, I might take issue with you there just to be born in this time, in this country, in this place.

You've already won the lottery. In the eyes of the common man who has lived on this planet and even the common man today, you and I are filthy rich. When I first started going down to Mexico, it's changed a little bit. But the average wage, they were out there cutting sugar cane.

The average wage at that point in time was a dollar a day for a laborer. Do you understand that in the eyes of most of the world, you and I are filthy rich? So don't try to wiggle out of this by trying to claim poverty. But even so, I think that misses the whole point. What I'm going to try to point out to you is this is not a commandment peculiar to this man. This is a commandment given to every single person who would follow Christ.

Go back just a few chapters, chapter 14. Jesus says in Luke 14 31, What king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consults whether he is able with 10,000 to meet him that cometh against him with 20,000? Or else, while the other is a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, an ambassador, and desires conditions of peace. In other words, you've got an army marching against you with 20,000 men, and you can only muster 10, so it might just be a good idea to send you an ambassador out there and try to negotiate a peace treaty. And the problem is, if you're a king with 10,000 men, you've got a king coming with 20,000 men, it's probably going to be a pretty high price. It's probably going to cost you your throne, but at least you're going to keep your life.

You understand? So in other words, and this, by the way, we didn't talk about the context. It's all in the context of counting the cost, of following Christ. He has just said to his disciples that you need to take up your cross and follow me.

Here's the cost. And it's just like this guy. He's probably going to have to surrender everything he's got in order to be saved. And so the punchline is verse 33. Listen to this. So likewise, whosoever he is, we're used to saying whosoever meaneth me.

I assume this does too. Whosoever he is of you that forsakes not all he has, cannot be my disciple. You see, this is a universal principle. It's not particular to that man. Now it's more difficult for the rich man. He's got to give up more. The poor man doesn't have as much to surrender, but they're both required to surrender all. Lay it all at the feet of Jesus Christ. He's either Lord of all or he's not Lord at all.

That's the condition. You say, well, I don't want to be his disciple. It says he cannot be my disciple.

I just want to be a Christian. Well, remember the book of Acts says the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. Christians was a nickname for a disciple. If you're a Christian, by definition, you're a disciple. And if you're going to be his disciple, according to this verse, you must forsake all that you have. You can't hold anything back from Christ. This is a strange thing. We talk about the surprising nature of salvation by grace, that on the one hand, this grace is absolutely free. And on the other hand, it'll cost you everything you've got. You say, why is that?

How does that work? A few years ago, as many years ago, first time I was in Wyoming in the 1970s, there were a bunch of nuts. All the nuts in the world are not in baby roof bars. I discovered a bunch of nuts up in Oregon. I don't think this was you, Brother Strength, but a bunch of nuts up there who had claimed that they were up on this mountain and a UFO had landed. And these aliens had come out and met them, and they were from Venus. And they made an agreement that a week later, the UFO was going to return to the top of that mountain, and anybody who wanted to could get on board and return with them to the planet Venus.

Okay? That's the deal. You want to go to Venus? Just come.

Not going to cost you anything. It's a free ride. But is it a free ride? Because you see, to go to that planet is going to cost you life on this planet, by its very nature. That's where the cost arises, the very nature of this thing. This is the gift of life, eternal life, Christ's life. But you can't live His life and your life at the same time, any more than you can live on two planets at the same time.

It's either you or Him. That's the deal. That's what Paul is saying over there in Galatians 2. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me. The life that I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God. What I am is an extension of the life of Christ living in me.

I'm no longer my own, I'm bought with the price, I belong to my Master. And so, we have Him go away very sorrowful. And I know some of you are saying, man, preacher, do you have to make this so difficult? Oh, did you understand me to say that salvation was difficult?

Well, I'm sorry to give you that impression. Because what I mean to say is that not that salvation is difficult, salvation is impossible. That's what's coming out of this text. It says how hardly can a rich man enter the kingdom of heaven, easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Now, I consult the commentaries and it seems that the preachers over the years have tried every way in the world to wiggle around the clear teaching here. Some say, well, the eye of a needle was this narrow gate in Jerusalem, you know, the camel had to stoop to go in. It's debatable whether there ever was such a gate and if there was, it wasn't in Jerusalem until several hundred years after the time of Christ. In other words, if there was a gate, call that in Jerusalem, it was named from this story, not the other way around, okay? Others say, well, if you just change one little letter in the Greek word translated camel here, you have the word rope. And so what Jesus is saying, I don't know if that helps, but come on, camel was the largest animal that the man in Israel confronted in a common life. I mean, they didn't have elephants in Israel.

A camel was the biggest animal they had. And so here, what Jesus is clearly saying is that it's easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man like him to get into heaven. He was their class A number one blue ribbon candidate to be saved. If he was in your class, you would vote him most likely to be saved.

And there he is walking away. And last time I tried to put a camel through that, no, I haven't ever tried. I've got more sense than that. That's not just hard, that's not just difficult, that's absolutely impossible. And I think our conclusion here is confirmed by the reply of the disciples who say, who then can be saved?

If this man with everything he's got going for him can't be saved, is it easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than for this guy, our class A number one blue ribbon candidate? Who then can? And of course, Christ answers with men, it's impossible.

But with God, praise God, all things are possible. Now, two little things before we conclude tonight. I want you to realize that Peter, Big Mouth Peter, I sure am glad he had a big mouth. We wouldn't know half of what we know in the New Testament if Peter had just kept his mouth shut. Every time, and what the other disciples are wanting to ask, because he voices it, Lord, you said this guy, if he left everything, he'd have great treasure in heaven, what are we going to get?

I mean, that's what we've done. We walked away from everything. So what are we going to get? And oh, Jesus gives us this wonderful reply. There's not a one of you that has left house, parents, brethren, wife, children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive many fold more. In fact, Mark's gospel put it a hundred times, a hundred times more in this present time. And in the age to come, eternal life. One thing we see here clearly that God will never let his children be a loser in this thing. I am a healthy and well preacher, I confess. I believe God wants you healthy, wealthy, and happy.

But it's not now and not here. He encourages us with statements like this to give it all up, to surrender everything into the hands of the master, that you will never be sorry you did. This takes faith, right? We're saved by hope. Paul says hope is that faith in something that's coming, something that's not present.

And here is that hope, that faith that keeps us going, the promise of God that we will not be sad. You want to make an investment? This is a good one.

You've got the Word of God on it, guaranteeing the profit. You say, well, wait a minute. He said parents. You left parents. How can you have a hundred parents? A hundred mothers?

I mean, by nature, you're going to have one. Well, he's not talking about natural parents, but he's talking about the family of God. I was telling Brother Bartman earlier today, we were talking about somebody, and I said, well, I stayed in their home and they were like second parents to me. Every time I got close to St. Louis, they took me into their home and I was like their boy that had come home. And I've got them all over the place. I've got all these houses.

I stayed in one just last night right down the road. You say, well, Brother Bartman, that's not really your house. No, it's better, because I don't have to mow the yard, don't have to fix the roof. I mean, this is what a deal. Do you understand the principle?

You're never going to be the loser even in this life and in the world to come, everlasting life. And then one final observation, because we sort of quit reading. We don't have time to do all this. But if we just kept reading a little bit further into chapter 19, I mean, if you just get rid of that big one nine there, don't let that mess you up. Just keep on reading. And we encounter rich man number two. Behold, there was a man, I'm reading verse two, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was chief among the publicans.

And what? He was rich. How hard is it for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven? Easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle.

Here's rich man number two. And yet you know the story, don't you? I mean, I like Zacchaeus. We see eye to eye.

I like short people. Jesus calls him down, said, I got to eat at your house today. And Zacchaeus in the middle of that meal gets up and says, I give half of my goods to feed the poor and the other half I panned back four times everybody that I've robbed. And he probably, knowing the publicans, had robbed a whole lot of folks.

In other words, the thing that Christ demanded of the rich young ruler, this man, Henry Mahan, once said, you couldn't have put a pistol to this guy's head five minutes before Jesus came to town and made him say those words. The publicans were covetous. That's why they were publicans. They were in it for the money. They were in it for wealth.

That's what they live for. That's why they had sold their soul to the Romans. And here, not just a publican, but the chief honcho of the publicans stands up.

I've given it all away. And Jesus says, verse nine, this day is salvation. Come to this house for as much as he also is a son of Abraham. He's a true son of Abraham. And then get this, for the son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Remember last evening? He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Hallelujah. What a savior.

Two rich men. And again, the surprising nature of saving grace, the one we would have expected to be ushered into the kingdom, walks away sorrowful. And this fellow, the last guy we would expect. I'm going to see old Peter. And you know, when Jesus calls Achaeus down out of that tree, can't you see Peter and John over there? He's on my lands.

We could have eaten at anybody's house in town. And he has to pick this guy, the last one you would have expected. But the savior came to seek and say that which is lost.

I know I've told this story before, and I'm going to bore you with it once again because it fits this topic so well. The first time I heard this years ago, there was a fellow that dealt in precious stones, was a supplier, wholesale supplier for people in jewelry and that kind of thing. And he had an appointment in a big city and driven into town and parked. And he was a little bit early for his appointment and had to kill a little time. And you notice there was a jewelry store on the corner, so he said, we'll duck in here for a few minutes and just check out this guy's inventory, see what he's got. And so he goes in and begins to wander around and all of a sudden his eyes fall on a counter over there.

And he sees in this counter a pearl. And he's really shocked that this guy would have something. He recognizes this is something unusual.

This is something special, unusual for this guy, a little podunk store like this to have something like that. So he wanders over to the counter and he's trying to act nonchalant. And the owner of the store comes over and says, well, you understood something?

Yeah. He said, could I see that pearl? The owner says, well, it's a good one. He pulls it out of the counter and lets him examine it. And the more he looks at it, the more amazed he is because you know the only thing about pearls, they're secretions, right, of these mollusks and they've always got some flaw, color, size, shape. But this one was absolutely perfect. And this guy, you see, he knows pearls. That's his business. And he began to realize that this pearl was worth millions.

It was perfect. He'd never seen anything like it. But he, of course, is not wanting to play his hand, you know. He doesn't want to tip his cards and show his cards. Jesus nonchalantly says to the man, how much will you take for this pearl? And the man said, well, I tell you what, just whatever you got, that's all I want. And the man couldn't believe his good fortune.

He reached in his pocket, got his bill fold out. He had $80 in there. So he gave the man $80 and the man said, that's fine, here's the pearl.

That was the deal. And the man couldn't believe it. He's walking out with a pearl worth millions and he bought it for $80. Well, he gets almost out of the store, but he stops and he says, oh, wait a minute, I forgot. My car is almost on empty. I've got to get some gas in it.

Let me give you $60, you can give me $20. And the man says, oh, you have a car. That'll be one car.

The guy looks at him. Are you nuts? He said, if I don't have a car, how am I going to get home? And the man said, that'll be one house.

That's what I said. What have you got? The man said, well, if I don't have a house, where's my family going to live? And the man said, that'll be one family.

That's the deal. Whatever you got. And the man hung and hauled and he kept looking at that pearl and he finally says to the man, okay, here's the title to my car. Here's the deed to my house. And you can take my family.

The man said, okay, you can have the pearl. But then the owner says, come back here a minute. Here's the title to your car. I'm going to let you use it. Now, it's my car, right? You gave it to me, but I'm going to let you use it. But if somebody's sick and needs a ride to the doctor or to the hospital, you will give them a ride, won't you?

After all, it is my car. And I'm going to give you back the deed to your house. But if some missionary comes through and needs a place to stay, you'll let them stay there at that house, right? Because it's my house, you know. You gave it to me. And should I want to take one of your children to live with me, you won't mind, will you?

Because after all, you gave them to me. The kingdom of heaven, said Jesus, is like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls. And when he had found one pearl of great price, he sold all that he had to buy that pearl. Let's pray. Father, these claims make us tremble and shake, and yet, oh, how I pray that you have brought each and every one of us here tonight to that point where we have surrendered all that we are and all that we have into your hands. That whatever you have allowed us to hang on to, that we are not the owners of it, we are just the stewards of it. And that our responsibility is to use everything we have, our time, our talents, our energy, our possessions, to use them in a way that glorifies the one that truly owns them.

So let us never see ourselves as the absolute possessor of anything while we're in this life. And may we always be willing, whatever it is that you claim, what your finger points at that says that must go, that we're willing to let it go, that we surrender all and lay it all at the feet of our master. I thank you that you've done this miraculous thing, the thing that man couldn't do, but that you alone could do, a miracle of grace in our hearts that we would surrender our life itself into the hands of Jesus Christ, your Son. If there's any loss tonight, I pray it's clear what the issue is. I pray, Father, that you would do that miracle in their heart, their life, that they would be willing to surrender all to your Son, Jesus Christ. It's in His name I pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-05 10:32:13 / 2023-04-05 10:48:29 / 16

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