Sermon Summary from July 16, 2017
Mark 10:13–31 (NIV) • Daniel Low (Ministry Intern)
As we’ve been learning in the Gospel of Mark, the kingdom of God seems to always be in contrast to who and what the world values. Last week’s message explores Jesus’ teaching to the disciples about what kind of people become citizens of God’s kingdom.
We start off in Mark 10:13 with Jesus rebuking the disciples for telling the children brought to Jesus to go away. Jesus tells his disciples to not only show kindness to children, but BE like a child. He says “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” So that begs to question, what is it about children that grants them entry into God’s kingdom?
Mark answers that question by telling us another story where Jesus encounters a rich young ruler. We find out that the man holds both material wealth, and moral wealth. He is everything that the disciples would want to be a part of the kingdom of God. But instead Jesus confronts the man’s ideas of what the kingdom of God is about by pointing straight to his heart. The rich man thinks that eternal life is achieved. He thinks he’s just missing one more item on his “Spiritual Resume”. Jesus tells him to give everything to the poor and to follow him. And the man walks away in sorrow, unable to do what Jesus told him. And thus Mark answers our question about a child’s citizenship in the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to those who receive it like a child, having nothing themselves but given everything by the Father.
Oftentimes when we hear this passage we feel like Jesus is making it a big burden to get into His kingdom. But really Jesus is making it easier. Holding on to both material wealth and our own achievements prevents us from receiving the gift of grace he freely gives to us. We also often forget that there’s something much greater than what we give. Jesus promises us a hundredfold what we give up! He doesn’t only just tell us to rely entirely on God’s provision, but he lived it. He lived it to the point that he died on the cross so that we too can know God’s great provision for us!