WITH GOD – Matthew 19:23

August 16, 2022

WITH GOD – Matthew 19:23

Listen to last week’s sermon : With God found in Matthew 19:23.

Pastor Eric began his sermon, on August 14, 2022, by asking the members of his congregation whether they knew of anyone who was lonely and in need of a sympathetic ear. It was requested that, if this was the case, they contact the person in question in the coming week.

Read Matthew 19:1-3 

In the passage above, the Pharisees approached Jesus and asked whether it was ever lawful for men to divorce their wives. A dialogue ensued.

Read Matthew 19:11-12

In Matthew 19:11-12, Jesus addressed celibacy and provided reasons why some men remain single.

Read Matthew 19:13

As stated in the above verse, children were brought to Jesus so that He may lay His hands on them and pray over them. Traditionally, this was the responsibility of rabbis and teachers. A similar procedure was now being carried out with Jesus; however, the disciples were now reprimanding those who brought the children for bothering the Lord. “Don’t bother Him,” His followers said. Perhaps they were being told not to bother Jesus because He had an important mission to accomplish; an important message to convey; or no time to devote to the children.

Read Matthew 19:14

Christ instructs them in Matthew 19:14 to allow the little children to come to Him, since the Kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like them. This is what we observe when we examine the different accounts of the same event. Jesus uses the children as an example to illustrate that we must be like a child in order to enter the Kingdom of God. Our Lord does not call us to be immature, but rather to have the humility and faith of a child.

Read Matthew 19:16-26

A wealthy young ruler then appears on the scene. No doubt, this young man, who had some form of authority, power, and influence, understood and valued wealth. Having become fascinated by eternity, he asked Jesus what he had to do in order to obtain eternal life. Jesus began by suggesting that the man observe all of God’s commandments. When the man said he had done this, Jesus instructed him to sell all of his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow Him. These were hard words for him to accept as he was unwilling to place God at the forefront of his life.

Read Matthew 19:22

As recorded in Matthew 19:22, when the young man heard this, he left grieving and distressed, for he was extremely wealthy. Some scholars have suggested that this individual’s wealth prevented him from entering the Kingdom of God, not because wealth is intrinsically evil, but rather because he valued his money above God.

Read 1 Timothy 6:10

The problem is not poverty, but idolatry. It is evident that the rich ruler placed greater importance on wealth than on the Kingdom of heaven. Rather than focusing on God, he was focused on himself.

Read Matthew 6:24

Pastor Eric met many good Christians who have a genuine affection for the Lord and are sincere in their devotion to Him, and in return, God has blessed them with great wealth. They are not preachers nor are they part of a large ministry within the Church. It is not uncommon for them to work behind the scenes to support God’s work, provide financial support to missionaries, and utilize their wealth to advance the Kingdom of God. The question is not whether we have money, but rather whether we are controlled by it.

In what or whom do we place our affection? It appeared that the young rich ruler had a greater affection for his money than for Christ. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and worldly riches.” The issue here is one of affection.

Read Matthew 19:23

In response to the incident involving the wealthy ruler, Jesus told His disciples, “…it will be difficult for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.” It should be noted that the Lord did not say it is impossible for a wealthy individual to enter the Kingdom. Therefore, we have cause to be optimistic as we live in a prosperous country where clean drinking water and quality healthcare are readily available to all. Canada is home to many wealthy individuals.

In general, the wealthy have difficulty entering the Kingdom of God as it is unlikely that they will ask for help, food, water, or healing since these necessities are readily available.

Read Matthew 5:3 and 19:24

Jesus stated in Matthew 5:3 that the humble would inherit the Kingdom of heaven. Thus, it is imperative that we recognize our spiritual bankruptcy and our need for God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy. We cannot request forgiveness from the Lord until we admit that we are spiritually bankrupt. Hence, as wealthy people, we may have difficulty entering the Kingdom of God, as many things overshadow God’s place in our lives. In Matthew 19:24, Jesus provides an illustration. He says, “…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.”

Read Matthew 19:25

Upon hearing this, the disciples were astonished. Their reaction was one of confusion, as they believed that wealthy individuals were blessed by God. The disciples considered prosperity to be a sign of blessing, and poverty to be a result of disobedience on the part of the individual or his parents.

Read Matthew 19:25b 19:26

The next question they asked was: “Who then can be saved?” Jesus gazed at them and said, “With man this is impossible…” In other words, no amount of human effort will ever suffice to save us from our sins. We cannot save ourselves. In spite of this, Christ goes on to say, “…but with God all things are possible.”

Isn’t it interesting that sometimes, as Christians, we find it difficult to believe in certain circumstances? It is important to note, however, that God reminds us that nothing is impossible for Him.

Are we experiencing the feeling that we have hit a brick wall? If so, Pastor Eric reminds us today that all things are possible with God. It is important, however, that we pursue our goals in a manner that pleases Him. In light of this, Pastor Eric suggests that we begin each day with the Lord. Moreover, it is important to understand that working for God does not equate to working with God.

Read Philippians 4:13 and Galatians 2:20

Pastor Eric recently spoke with an elderly gentleman who has a limited number of years left to live. Previously, he had said, “I came into this world with nothing, and I will leave this world with nothing.” His motto has now changed. Now he declares, “I entered this world with nothing, but I now will leave it filled with God’s grace.” When we walk with God, many seemingly impossible things become possible. This result does not arise from our ability or character, but rather from our union with Christ.

As he concluded his sermon, Pastor Eric invited us to walk daily with God and serve Him in all that we do.