All Things Are Possible With God

Text: Mark 10:17-22                   Pastor Don Mossman

Introduction

Bumper sticker read: FOMO made me do it. (Fear of missing out) Attitude of many.  You only go around once, but if you play your cards right, once is enough.

I.    The common question

A.  The searching young man

  1. The young man in our text had heard about Jesus. He was by all standards well off. Think Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook – 80 billion dollars worth.  He was anxious to have Jesus share a perspective on life and death.  How might inherit eternal life?  He was sincere, and our text says Jesus was impressed by him – he loved him.
  2. What is good about his question is that the young man’s heart has a concern with getting to heaven. Jesus was stern with him, giving him a Law answer. You know the commandments, he tells the young man.  Then he quotes a number of the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, etc.  You know the answer to your question.  “Well rabbi, these I’ve done since I was a youth.”  “Alright, then go sell all you have, and follow me.”  So sad.  He left Jesus, for money and possessions were his god.

B. Sickness and death and life after death

  1. It is unlikely that there is a more common question spoken or unspoken that we all have as it pertains to life and/or death. It’s at times “the horse on the dining room table,” as some refer to it. Everyone sees it, acknowledges it, but don’t want to talk about it.
  2. Humanity has asked about sickness and death since the beginning of time. And by nature, humankind will try to answer the questions in order to give satisfaction to nervous hearts.  Many an article and no few books have been written giving imaginations and/or self-made answers or explanations to death and dying. And most often they are answers that never seem to satisfy.  In national surveys, a growing number of people are claiming they are spiritual, but not religious.  Others growing among us are referred to as “nones.”
  3. Peggy Noonan, speech writer for President Reagan and now a weekly columnist for the Wall Street journal, reflected on all the changed we’ve realized in this our secular and confused society when she wrote, “Everyone’s in the dark looking for the switch.” One could add to that without God’s grace, we need to realize there is no switch.  A desperate situation.  So we live in the dark when it comes to spirituality.

II.   The revealed answer  

        A.  With God all things are possible

  1. How is it for us today? There are many of the same temptations for us as in Jesus day even though we live in a different world than that of the rich young man.  We live in a time when nothing seems to make sense.  You can hear it if you listen: the whys, the anger, the lost feeling, and the loneliness.  We can live longer thanks to advanced medicines and life styles, but, in the end, death awaits.  Suffering is not eliminated; we still walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
  2. But we have an answer from Jesus. What is impossible for us to do, it is possible for Jesus.  And our good folk here at Redeemer and throughout the world graciously reach out with kind and reassuring words and a gentle touch of a loving God, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven.

      B.  Jesus’ answer is the only answer

  1. Family Feud on TV. With Jesus, there is no need to play games. No other answer comes close.  There is only one answer, Jesus.  If anyone is in Christ she/he is a new creation.  The old is gone, and the new is revealed.  It may have at one time looked impossible, but with God all things are possible.
  2. With God, all things are possible. You see, the deep, deep love of God has shown itself in the person of Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection. His love and security in reaching out to us through faith opens the doors of salvation, of eternal life.  For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.  It is his free gift, because he loves you. Always remember, this is his doing, by grace and grace alone, that he saves and secures us in this life to all eternity.

Conclusion

The eye of a needle:  difficulty all my life…   Small doorway in city wall – camel needed to get on knees to get through, or a hyperbole: speaks of the impossibility of a camel… even as a rich man whose god is his possessions.  I go to prepare a place for you.  In my Father’s house there are many mansions.  I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am, you may be also. (Jn 14:3)  What seemed impossible becomes possible.  Jesus breaks down all barriers; the Spirit calls, gathers and enlightens our hearts for Jesus.

 

 

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