Thursday, May 20, 2021

2021.05.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 18:18–34

Read Luke 18:18–34

Questions from the Scripture text: Who speaks to Jesus in Luke 18:18? What does he call Him? What does he ask Him? What does Jesus ask him in response (Luke 18:19)? What does Jesus say about this? What does He say the man knows (Luke 18:20)? What commandments does Jesus specifically mention? What does the man say about these commandments (Luke 18:21)? How much does Jesus say this man lacks (Luke 18:22)? What does Jesus tell him to do? Where does Jesus say he will have what? What is the ultimate command in verse 22? How does the man respond in Luke 18:23? Why? What did Jesus see in Luke 18:24? What does He say? What two things does Jesus compare in Luke 18:25? Which does He say is easier? What do those who hear ask (Luke 18:26)? What does Jesus say about possibilities in Luke 18:27? Who speaks in Luke 18:28? With what command does he begin? What is it that he wants Jesus to see? What does Jesus acknowledge people might leave—for the sake of what (Luke 18:29)? What will such a person receive (Luke 18:30)? When? And what else, when else? Whom does Jesus now take aside in Luke 18:31? Where does He tell them that they are going? What will be accomplished there? What six things will happen to Him (Luke 18:32-33)? Then what will He do (verse 33)? How much of this do they understand (Luke 18:34)? How many ways does verse 34 tell us about this?

Whether it was his net worth, or his net-worthiness, the ruler in this passage was sure that he could bankroll whatever it took to obtain eternal life. He was calling Jesus “Good” (Luke 18:18-19) not because he thought Jesus to be perfectly morally righteous, but because he thought Jesus to be a whole lot like himself. 

The ruler’s problem isn’t that he didn’t know the words of the standard (Luke 18:20); it’s that he thought he was doing a good job of keeping it (Luke 18:21). But the one thing he lacked (Luke 18:22a) was actually everything: Christ Himself (end of verse 22). 

What do you get for the man who has everything? The eye-opening reality that without Jesus, that man has nothing. Thinking that we have moral riches is even harder to overcome than having hearts that cling to earthly riches (Luke 18:23-25).

And this way of thinking even infects disciples. Peter has understood that Jesus is what you need (Luke 18:28). But by Christ’s response in Luke 18:29-30, we see that Peter thinks that they are being rewarded for coming out on the losing end. But, giving up a giant pile of worthlessness in order to have Christ instead doesn’t just get you treasure in heaven (Luke 18:22) in the age to come, but treasure in heaven and earth, both now and forever (Luke 18:30).

It’s just hard for our sin-clouded hearts to appreciate what Scripture says must be done to save us, and how we’re totally unable to accomplish the slightest particle of it. So, when Jesus tells them what He has to do in the clearest possible words (Luke 18:31-33), they still can’t understand what He is talking about (Luke 18:34). Even disciples like Peter can have fits of the same self-righteous thinking as the unconverted young ruler—the kind of thinking that makes us unable to comprehend what true riches are in this life and the next. True wealthiness is to count everything else loss for the gain of having Christ! And then realizing that since we have Christ, literally everything is ours in that it is being employed by God for us, who are joint-heirs-with-Christ of all things.

In what situations do you tend to feel like God should really pay you back for how well you’ve done? In what situations have you felt that you’ve lost something valuable in order to belong to Christ or follow Him? In that situation, how have you really lost nothing and gained everything?

Suggested Songs: ARP16A “Keep Me, O God” or TPH508 “Jesus, Priceless Treasure”

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