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Give it up | Matthew 19 Part 2

What are you willing to give up? Everything? Anything?

This week, we study Matthew chapter 19. Let’s dig in!

Listen along to the episode here or on your favorite podcast app.

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

Which ones?” the man inquired. Matthew 19:16-18 Why didn’t Jesus say obey all the commandments when the guy asked which ones? Doesn’t that seem like a dumb question with an obvious answer? But Jesus doesn’t list all the commandments. He leaves out:  no other gods before me, no idols, do not misuse the name of the Lord, and remember the sabbath and keep it holy. What do these have in common? God.

This guy was keeping all the commandments concerning people, man to man (murder, steal, covet, false testimony, respect). He was being a good person. Doing what was right. Jesus sums up these four by saying to him that all he needed to do now was to sell all his stuff and follow Me. Meaning if you love me, prove it. Verse 22 shows us how the young man felt about this. “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (emphasis mine). This guy had been feeling really good about himself. Oh, I keep all those commandments. He just knew Jesus was going to congratulate him on a job well done. That he had met all the requirements. I mean he was a great guy. But his heart wasn’t right. His relationship with God, the one that matters most, was lacking.

So, Jesus tells his disciples, “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.” This shook the disciples. They were stunned, if they can’t go, who even can?!? The wealthy had all the privileges. Surely their riches were blessings for good behavior. If the cream of the crop, or the top of the heap were going to not make it into the kingdom of heaven, what hope did those without have? It was shocking to hear Jesus say the most privileged would have the hardest time because that was the opposite of all they knew. The reason it will be hard is because they have more to give up.

Folks with a lot can have more distractions, more idols to get rid of. Not to mention an independence from God. You might be less likely to rely on God .I don’t think Jesus is saying here that we have to give up all our stuff, sell our possessions. The point is would you be willing to. What are you willing to give up? Everything? Anything?

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