Title: Prerequisites of the Kingdom
Focus: The prerequisite for entering the Kingdom of God is to receive it with radical humility and radical devotion to the reign of God in you
Function: To motivate the hearers to prioritize their life with the most important things first, which include God and others. Status and wealth should be non-existent on the list
Text: Mark 10:13-31
Intro: 1. Class with a prerequsite a. What is a pre-requisite? b. It is something required before you can get into the class 2. Jesus has been dealing with pre-requisites for the kingdom in this text a. Many of them deal with relationships to others b. If want to be first, will be last and servant of all (9:35) 3. In this morning’s text, Jesus speaks of more pre-requisites I. (Mk 10:13-16) - Must receive the Childlike A. Disciples try to stop the children. Why? 1. Why these? They didn’t stop people before 2. Think about it, snotty, crying, dirty children 3. Jesus needs rest, he is an important person 4. What if kids try to run up to president? Gaurds stop them B. The response of Jesus 1. Indignation to the disciples a. Let them come! b. The disciples still didn’t get it about the kingdom 2. The kingdom belongs to people like these a. Not talking about trust, innocence, etc. b. Talking about their status - It fits with context c. Who had Jesus accepted and called? - Tax collectors, sinners, helpless, nobodies - (9:35) - Anyone want to be first - servant of all - (Jas 4:10) - Humble self in presence of God 3. Must receive kingdom like a child a. Like a child would receive it, or like you would receive a child? b. If it is like you would recieve a child - Accept nobodies as Jesus did - Those of lowly status to be accepted c. If it is like a child would receive it - Children not have same ambition as adults - Status/color/gender is typically meaningless - Still involves humility d. Either way, it means accepting a no-status position C. ILL: Remember in school when I was little 1. We didn’t notice who dressed in name brand 2. Didn’t notice color of skin 3. We all just people, no one better than the other 4. If distinctions, we learned that from our parents D. Need to be accepting of the childlike 1. Why? Kingdom belongs to people like these 2. Who are they? a. The children - Our #1 ministry should be to them b. Those with no status c. Those with little intelligence 3. Jesus took the IN HIS ARMS 4. Would Jesus be indignant with us? a. Permit them to come, do not hinder them b. So we should encourage them II. Implication - If kingdom belongs to people like these, then we need to be child-like (v.17-22) A. This point is made in v.15, and is further developed in the next story 1. What a contrast between this man and the children! 2. One a respected, noted man in the community v.s. the children B. Jesus and the rich man 1. Jesus deflects the complement of being “good” a. We find that hard to deal with. Wasn’t he good? b. Jesus is trying to model servanthood 2. Jesus answer reveals several things a. Even keeping the commands, you still “lack” something - Irony, this man seemed to lack nothing b. Jesus not interested in mere keeping of rules c. No one is “good” d. Implies he has no treasure in Heaven - Means that he has been devoted to self - He kept the rules, was a respected man - But it was not enough C. ILL: Racoon trap 1. Put trinket into trap, hand can squeeze to get into the box 2. But if hand in fist, cannot pull hand out 3. They wont turn loose, and so are trapped by the lure of a worthless trinket 4. That is what happened to this rich man D. This this the ONLY time a person refuses his call in Mark 1. Illustrates the powerful lure of possessions 2. Only one solution - GIVE IT AWAY and follow him 3. Can’t I keep it and follow you????? Won’t work. 4. Jesus uses this to teach a lesson to his disciples III. Must receive Child-likeness (v.23-31) A. Amazed that Jesus say it hard for rich. Why? 1. Being wealthy regarded as divine favor 2. (Dt 28:1-14) - Material blessing for faithfulness 3. Most of us would consider what Jesus said unreasonable 4. Only people like Ghandi, or Mother Teresa live that way B. Jesus had to repeat himself 1. Jesus’ Illustration - Camel through eye of needle a. Tendency to try and weaken the force of what he said b. 9th century interpretation - The Needle gate, it was so low camels had to kneel down to get into the gate. Problem, this gate never existed c. Change one letter in Greek, "camel" becomes "rope" d. Trying to weaken the force of what Jesus said misses the point 2. Point - Impossible for man to save himself a. This probably reason why Mark does not hide disciples flaws - Makes the text more “theocentric” - Disciples no better than we are b. Why does Jesus make this point in the text? - Rich man says, “What must “I” do...” - All these things “I” have kept.... - What "I" can do is not enough 3. Wrong to be rich? No, Abraham was rich a. But he was willing to give up what dearest to him b. Willing to give up Isaac (his, “laughter” Isaac means laughter) c. God “tested” him, and he passed 4. So it is not about the money a. For the rich man, the money represented many things b. Status, respectablity, control, influence, power, security c. He gained everything, but was lacking the greatest thing d. He lacked the kingdom/reign of God in his life C. ILL: With God (not self) all things are possible 1. Thank God he made it possible 2. C.S. Lewis said all things are possible, but imagine how the camel feels, squeezed out in one long, bloody thread D. Saying all things are possible does not mean it is easy 1. Jesus would not have died on the cross for something easy 2. For this rich man it meant giving away everything 3. Becoming children may mean radical surgery (9:43ff) 4. Squeezing myself through the eye of a needle is radical E. ILL: It is easier if you become like a child 1. One time Stacey and I wanted to go out, not enough money 2. William went and got all he had, and offered it to us 3. Wealth not important to a child like it is to adults Concl 1. So there are two more pre-requisistes to the kingdom a. Receive the child-like - Those who are of no status b. Receive child-likeness - Become one of no status, a servant of all 2. Don’t need that mansion, luxury/ sports car, designer clothes, etc. etc. 3. Jesus says to seek first his kingdom/reign, and God will take care of the rest 4. Are you seeking first his reign in your life? a. Where are your priorities? - Tons, and tons of overtime to live your lifestyle of respectability - Is that seeking first his reign in your life? b. May it is times to reorganize priorities 5. Have you begun to seek his reign? Been saved?...