Lord Over All 💪(Matthew 19:16-23)
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Lord Over All 💪(Matthew 19:16-23)

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Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—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!” The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?” Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.

The Kingdom of God is at its best with its COMMUNITY IS FIGHTING FOR UNITY.

Overall Commentary: 🌎

Jesus leaves his discussion about blessing the children. He has just talked about how their innocence is what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like—it's the simple joy of trusting Jesus. Right after this, he encounters a young man. When we cross-reference Matthew with the narratives in Luke and Mark, we learn this is a rich young ruler. There is some evidence that this might have been Joseph of Arimathea. This is the guy who let Jesus borrow his tomb for three days. However, this is unsubstantiated. Jesus gets to the core of this young man's problem and challenges him to take a step of faith.

The Church is a BEAUTIFUL MESS that fights to restore the beauty of Jesus as LORD OF ALL.


Verse 16-22: The Conversation.

  • Teacher: This shows that the young man at least sees Jesus as someone worth talking to. There is no indication He is being anything less than sincere.
  • Good Deed: This shows the young man has a common misunderstanding about eternal life. In Jewish society, many connected good deeds with eternal life. This is still something many grapple with today. They think that enough good deeds earn us entry into Heaven.
  • God is the Standard of Goodness: Jesus says that God is the only one truly Good. This means the only way to achieve goodness is to look at what He has set up as good. Then, He proceeds to tell this young man what goodness looks like. This is another subtle claim to deity.
  • Works-based salvation?: Jesus is not saying works get you to Heaven. He is showing the young man how his good works are not enough to satisfy. The law is a mirror to show us what perfect goodness looks like. Then we acknowledge we need a Savior.
  • Jesus quotes the "people commandments": These commandments may seem random to us, but they are the second five commandments of the Decolouge. The first five are focused on God, and the second five are focused on others. Then Jesus sums them up with a verse from Leviticus that says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • What else must I do?: This man sees himself as seemingly righteous, but something is lacking.
  • Perfect?: This word means perfect or to reach the finish line.
  • Is Jesus asking me to sell everything?: No. This is the only place in Scripture where Jesus asks anyone to literally sell everything. Jesus is showing this man who his real God is. Jesus DOES ask us to be willing to give up everything to follow Him.
    • A great question for us would be, "Is there anything you would not be willing to give up if Jesus asked you to?" If so, that's your idol.
  • Follow Me: Jesus finally answers this young man's question. He is saying the only way to have eternal life is to give up all his idols and follow Jesus.

Verse 23-26: The Amazing Opportunity.

  • Camels and Needles: A popular story says there is a low ceiling gate into Jerusalem, and the only way for a camel to gain entry is to get down on its needs and crawl through. Wow! This would be a great visual if it were truly. Sadly, this was not a thing during the lifetime of Jesus. If the story were true, it would mean that it is possible to gain entry to Heaven if you are rich. It's just hard. Jesus is talking about the largest animal in the area (a camel), and the smallest opening they could imagine (a needle's eye). Jesus isn't saying it's hard. He's saying it's impossible.
  • Why are the disciples panicked? This was a massive panic moment for the disciples because they had been led to believe in what was called, at the time, "prosperity theology." This theology said you could measure someone's favor in God by wealth. The more wealthy, influential, and prosperous they are, the more God favors them. Jesus says this is simply not the case. He is actually saying it's impossible for them to get into Heaven without a miracle.
  • All things are possible with God. The good thing is that Jesus says we are supposed to make them with His guidance.

Verse 27-30: The Eternal Hope.

  • When the world is new: Jesus is talking about the second coming. We can see this played out in Revelation 19-22.
  • Sit on Twelve Thrones: In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul says we Christians will judge angels. We are not exactly sure what that means because angels are already doing just fine. This probably has more to do with position and jurisdiction. However, the point remains. In Heaven, as part of the Heavenly host, we will have a place in His Kingdom. Specifically, the original apostles will have positions of leadership. It's also important to realize this does not include Judas. Even though his position was filled in Acts 1, most believe Paul will fill this role.
  • Eternal Hope: When we serve Jesus, our hope does not end in this life. It extends through eternity.
  • Warning: In verse 30, Jesus encourages and warns. He reminds us that God measures things very differently than we do. He doesn't look at money, status, or prestige to determine value. He values obedience.

Top Takeaway- The Lord Over All Goes to War to Bring an Eternal Hope

Because Jesus loves us, He will systematically go to war with everything that tries to take His place in our lives. Think about it for a moment. When we think about what we would not be willing to give up for God, most of us have at least one thing that gives us pause. It could be money, position, or even our family. Surely God would never ask me to give up my family? Don't say that around Abraham. Now, don't get me wrong. Only one time in history has God ever asked anyone to sacrifice their child on an altar, and He stopped Abraham before he could go through with it. However, what if your pursuit of God causes there to be a division in your family because they don't follow Jesus. Are you willing to keep following Jesus? What about money? What if keeping your job requires you to be dishonest and openly sin against God? What if you had to risk everything? Would you?

Now, once we have been rattled by that, think of the next thing. Why would God ask any of that from you? He is God. He needs nothing from us. He's fine all by Himself. Therefore, if He asks anything from us, it is for our benefit, not His.

So, we can trust Him when He asks us for anything.

Message Notes


Further Resources for Deeper Study