Faith Chapel

Forks In The Road

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Don Pate


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000025

00:29 Hello, and welcome to a time of study and growth.
00:32 A time to get to know Jesus better.
00:34 That really is my sincere desire.
00:36 In the next few minutes as we join each other
00:40 and opening the word and spending time in the text
00:43 to see if we can discover some things--
00:46 uncovers something about Jesus
00:48 that maybe we haven't known up to his point.
00:50 I'm Don Pate from "Between the Lines"
00:52 and it's a privilege to spend time with you in the word.
00:55 Before we open the text and begin to read,
01:00 I'd invite you to pray with me.
01:02 Father, thank you so much
01:03 for the rich privilege that we have of sensing
01:07 and knowing that you have ancient wisdom,
01:13 deep and eternal insights
01:15 that will make a profitable difference
01:18 and how we live our lives today,
01:21 if we spend few minutes in your word.
01:23 And Lord as we're together now,
01:25 going back into the days of Jesus,
01:28 we would ask that the Christ would be alive
01:31 and vibrant for us.
01:34 This is our prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.
01:39 I don't know what strata of society
01:42 potentially you come from.
01:44 My life as a boy growing up my parents
01:47 were lower middle class here in the United States.
01:51 Certainly we were not impoverished
01:53 but they didn't have money to burn.
01:55 My parents were incredibly sacrificial people.
01:58 Very generous and very giving but they didn't have,
02:01 you know, much from which to give.
02:02 They didn't have a lot of excess around.
02:04 And they were very committed
02:06 to the issues of Christian education.
02:07 And of course that meant that we didn't attend public school
02:11 which also meant school bills and tuition.
02:13 But a growing up in that level of society
02:17 it was evident to me that I could notice
02:20 that there were some kids that I went school with
02:22 or people around us rather little bit more.
02:25 And there was some sensitivity in my little heart at times
02:29 about the kids who had the privilege,
02:32 to do this or they could that,
02:33 and their parents would expend the money.
02:36 My parents weren't capable of doing that.
02:38 One of the stories of the gospels
02:40 that I think is excellent for all of us,
02:43 no matter whether you're one of the poor
02:45 little church mice very sincere little people
02:48 who really don't have much or whether your person whose,
02:51 you know, the Lord has been very good to you
02:53 and maybe you haven't been as grateful as you should be
02:55 or maybe you have.
02:57 But your resources are bit more.
02:59 It doesn't matter whether you come from
03:01 the side of--of the spectrum of the pyramid
03:05 where you're at the top.
03:06 You know, there aren't very many up there,
03:07 but you at the top and you have a lot more
03:10 in the-- or whether your down
03:11 sort of in the foundation of society,
03:14 where there are many of us who don't have as much,
03:18 the broad base of the societal pyramid.
03:20 Doesn't' matter.
03:22 There is a story in the gospels in--it shows something
03:25 that is remarkable about Jesus' intentions
03:29 and Jesus' interactions with people along the spectrum,
03:35 you know, from bottom, top both ends,
03:38 the spectrum of society.
03:40 And I think that many of us, at times,
03:42 we tend to delegate this person in this story.
03:46 We tend to put this person off
03:48 you know a little bit out of-well, "you know
03:50 they're not our class
03:51 so this isn't really a story related to me."
03:54 I think in a few minutes, if we spend time in the text,
03:57 we're going to discover that's-- that's a little faulty.
04:00 That's not an accurate perception
04:02 that this story is given to us.
04:05 And so much so that the Lord has it repeated and repeated.
04:07 We find this in this first three gospels,
04:10 Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
04:12 We find this story and each one brings into
04:16 our awareness a little different slant.
04:19 It's like taking the diamond and often Matthew, Mark and Luke
04:24 will be that, these synoptic gospels,
04:26 the gospels that are synonymous, that a lot alike.
04:29 Its like taking a diamond
04:30 and you just barely spin the diamond
04:33 and you get a different coloration,
04:35 a different texture, a different side,
04:39 facet of the diamond will show you things
04:41 that you couldn't have seen
04:42 if you just look that it from one direction.
04:45 And that is why it is really healthy
04:47 if you're going to spend time with the gospels.
04:49 Maybe to find what's called a parallel of the gospels.
04:53 Where it will show you that you find this story in Matthew,
04:56 such and such, and the same story
04:57 is told in Mark, such and such, and also in Luke, such and such.
05:01 And you go to read the episodes in all three of those
05:05 now again John may not tell the same story.
05:09 In fact, he probable won't.
05:12 There are very few of the gospel stories
05:15 that are told in all four, very few.
05:18 You'd be surprised, certainly the episode
05:21 of the crucifixion and onward.
05:23 But before that you don't have much.
05:26 John is a decidedly different gospel.
05:29 But when you take the book of Matthew
05:32 and you turn to Chapter 19 or you turn to Chapter 18
05:36 of the book of Luke.
05:37 You'll find the same story that we find in the passage
05:40 that I'd actually invite you to turn to,
05:42 which is Mark Chapter 10.
05:45 Now in mark Chapter 10, we meet a young man,
05:50 where traditionally we just add a subtitle,
05:52 we don't know his name.
05:54 We don't call him, so and so the son of so and so,
05:56 it's just the Rich Young Ruler.
05:59 And as soon as I say the word rich,
06:01 many people begin to back off.
06:04 They begin to say, "well that a story about those people.
06:08 That's not a story for people like me."
06:10 The Rich Young Ruler puts him into a some kind of category,
06:16 a classification of heaven's interaction that,
06:19 "well that's not for me, that's not for me."
06:21 Many of us tend to think that.
06:23 And the truth is that's probably a weakness.
06:26 When you turn into the gospels, and this is really sweet,
06:30 again if you look at it in Matthew
06:32 you get just a little different slant.
06:34 Matthew is looking at from one way.
06:36 And mark is reporting it from another view point,
06:42 from the eye witness, probably of Peter.
06:45 And Luke is, by his own admission
06:47 in the first chapter, Luke is saying,
06:49 "look I wasn't there,
06:50 I didn't see any of these stories.
06:52 These are stories that I have compiled and borrowed
06:55 and taken and synthesized
06:58 so that I can reveal them to you as I understand them."
07:03 Mark as a second hand gospel because he wasn't there,
07:07 he wasn't standing there that day
07:09 when this event took place.
07:10 There's no evidence of that at all.
07:12 Mark brings some things into the story that,
07:15 I think, I appreciate.
07:17 So if I'm going to spend time in Matthew and Luke,
07:21 either Matthew 19 or Luke 18,
07:24 I certainly will discover some things there.
07:26 But, for whatever reason,
07:27 I kinda like the reporting style of Mark in this story.
07:32 All three of them do something this really pretty astounding.
07:35 They give a prologue.
07:37 They give a background as to what triggered the story.
07:42 Let me urge you to often, often take the bible stories
07:47 and read in front of them
07:49 and then go and read behind them.
07:51 Take things as we say, "in context,"
07:54 and certainly with writings of Paul or anything us.
07:56 Take things in context
07:58 because then you will get
07:59 a larger grasp of the big picture.
08:02 Of what it may be that actually was the exit on the free way
08:06 that Paul was taking at that moment.
08:09 And you'll understand his drift.
08:10 You'll understand his thinking.
08:12 If you get the larger picture of the context
08:14 you certainly have a lot less chance of blowing the message
08:20 into a proportion that is not accurate.
08:23 Take it in the context.
08:26 When you look at the context of this episode
08:28 that we traditionally just relegate to the title,
08:30 The Rich Young Ruler, something is remarkable,
08:33 the prologue, the foundation that triggers the story.
08:37 It's so much fun.
08:39 And most Christians probably have never considered this,
08:43 they've started immediately
08:44 like here in Mark Chapter 10 and verse 17.
08:47 And they say, "he was gone forth into the way,
08:50 there came one running, and kneeled to him,
08:52 and asked him good master."
08:55 That is where we say, "Well that's where the starts."
08:57 That's not where the story starts.
08:59 The story actually starts about 4 verses in front of that.
09:03 Look at verse 13 and you will find this
09:06 in all three of the gospels that report this story.
09:10 You will find that Jesus was involved
09:14 in something that is so neat.
09:15 I mean, this is really refreshing.
09:17 He was playing with the children.
09:19 Now, I know, playing is sort of a-- not a direct translation.
09:23 He was interacting with children
09:25 in a way that apparently the children were comfortable.
09:29 That is such a--to me a wonderful insight of Jesus
09:32 that I often think, and you may want to deal with this
09:36 a little bit yourself later on,
09:38 but its my perception that if we take the gospels
09:43 and we read them and we see the biography
09:45 as reported by these gospel writers of Jesus.
09:49 We find that in his ministry here on this world
09:52 as He walk the street.
09:54 We find the time and time again
09:59 Jesus doesn't do what's expected of Him.
10:03 For between the lines I have done a series entitle,
10:07 "The unexpected Messiah."
10:10 And when you review the stories you begin to see,
10:13 time and time again, people come to Jesus
10:15 with their own expectations, their agenda.
10:17 And, time and time again,
10:18 nobody is getting from him what they're expecting.
10:21 And the good news is even guilty sinners
10:24 don't necessarily get what they expect.
10:27 Guilty sinners approach Jesus expecting a little condemnation,
10:30 a little bit of a snarl, a little bit of a judgment.
10:33 And often they find an incredible mercy
10:35 they didn't expect that.
10:37 There are people who have great messianic expectation
10:40 against the power of the empire and the threat of the senate.
10:44 Jesus didn't give them what they expected.
10:46 What is really sweet to me, is it seems to me,
10:50 that there is one class,
10:52 one group of people in the gospels,
10:55 who never have their expectations diminished
10:59 or shattered by Jesus.
11:01 It's children. Children.
11:05 That's because they didn't come with expectation.
11:07 They just came.
11:09 Which certainly is, a healthy beginning to this story
11:12 because as you read from verse 13 onward,
11:14 it says, "that there were those
11:15 who brought the young children to Him,
11:17 that he should touch them."
11:20 Have you ever had this image of Jesus
11:21 sitting by the side of the lake, splashing,
11:24 kicking his feet in the water with the children?
11:27 Chasing tadpoles?
11:30 Trying to catch minnows with the children?
11:33 And have you ever had this view, this sense of Jesus,
11:37 laughing with children sitting there on His knee
11:38 and one of them would kinda poke him in the ribs
11:40 and he'd laugh and he'd poke them in the ribs?
11:43 Is that impossible to you?
11:46 It's certainly it wasn't to the children
11:48 it seems, it's seems that the children easily found
11:53 a comfortable affinity with Jesus.
11:56 And they were just joined to him,
11:58 drawn to him and he easily was drawn to them.
12:01 Because before you even finish the next two verses
12:03 Jesus looks and he says, "come on friends
12:06 understand that your going to have to become like this."
12:11 They were those when they brought the children
12:12 the disciples looked at them and rebuke them it says,
12:15 they rebuke those they brought the children.
12:17 "Ah, the master is too busy,
12:19 you know, we've got some very important kingdom work to do.
12:21 You know, can't spend time with the children."
12:24 Certainly in my years of teaching and pastoring
12:28 very rarely do I find anything
12:30 that is as healthy an investment of my time in ministry,
12:35 as investing in kids, investing in the children.
12:39 To give them-- and certainly I fail.
12:42 Certainly I don't always do it.
12:43 Certainly I've made some decision and choices.
12:46 But my determination to have God look good to the children.
12:53 That's a powerful thing for the church to do.
12:56 To have the children gain a sense
12:59 that in the economy of the church
13:02 you are precious and you're important.
13:04 You're not just peripheral and under feet.
13:07 You're very important in the kingdom.
13:09 Jesus said so.
13:12 They rebuked the ones who brought the children.
13:15 They didn't want the kids around.
13:17 "Kids are, you know, that's not to going advance the kingdom.
13:22 They're not gone be the ones who will pay the bills.
13:25 Jesus, He's got some kingdom business to do
13:27 and we're his men, we're his entourage.
13:29 Back the kids off."
13:31 That's the sense that you get in that verse.
13:33 And Jesus when he understood this is happening around him.
13:36 When he heard those rebukes, those little criticisms,
13:40 it says, verse 14, "when Jesus saw this,
13:43 He was much displeased."
13:45 That was not causal to Him.
13:47 He didn't say, "well, you know,
13:49 I understand where you coming from."
13:50 Jesus did not do that.
13:51 According to this passage, he was unhappy
13:56 with the people who had shoved the children away.
13:58 Not happy at all, he was much displeased.
14:02 And he said to the ones who were doing
14:04 all this posturing about the appropriateness of children
14:11 in the economy of the kingdom.
14:13 He looked at them and He said, "don't you dare do that,"
14:16 that's sort of my paraphrase.
14:17 "Suffer the little children to come to me.
14:20 Forbid them not." That's a command.
14:23 That's not a suggestion, that isn't Jesus saying,
14:25 "oh, lets take a vote on this."
14:28 "Forbid them not for a such is the kingdom of heaven."
14:33 I don't know if you ever done any,
14:35 what's called in Judaism, it's called making Midrash,
14:37 it's just Holy mumbling,
14:42 speculation just rolling around ideas
14:45 and opening yourself up to the spirit
14:46 and bouncing ideas off other believer.
14:50 I don't know if you've ever done--
14:51 made Midrash around that phrase,
14:54 "of such is the kingdom of heaven."
14:55 What is there about children that Jesus said,
14:59 "this, this is what it takes to be a citizen of the kingdom."
15:04 Is it their impetuous nature?
15:07 The fact that, you know, children don't sit there
15:09 and weigh things out real well.
15:11 They just love. They just trust.
15:15 "of such is the kingdom of heaven."
15:18 "Verily I say unto you," Verse 15,
15:19 "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God
15:23 as a little child, he shall not enter therein."
15:31 That isn't negotiable.
15:33 That isn't a semi-suggestion on the part of Jesus about,
15:37 "Well it will be a little tougher."
15:39 No, if we do not receive the Kingdom
15:43 the way a child receives the Kingdom
15:47 it isn't going to happen.
15:49 And we see that phraseology,
15:51 that word in the other gospel's just a little different slant.
15:55 But the bite of it, the strength of it,
15:56 the pathuels of that statement is just as strong.
16:00 You cannot, its not, "well we'll wait and see."
16:05 No, you cannot accept the Kingdom
16:08 unless you accept it as a child.
16:11 Which sort of confronts me with my sense of propriety
16:15 and my dignity and my appropriateness,
16:17 and whether or not my tie is straight,
16:19 and whether or not I've got the correct phraseology
16:21 and whether I can impress you with my academic abilities.
16:26 Unless I become as a child,
16:28 I never really will experience the Kingdom of Christ.
16:32 I am depriving myself of something--
16:36 of the Kingdom of Christ if I come to the place
16:39 where I make a such a degree of sophistication.
16:42 Don't take it from me, it seems that's where Jesus said.
16:48 Now that is the prologue.
16:50 That is the introduction
16:54 to the story of The Rich Young Ruler.
16:56 Because when you come, just two verses later verse17,
17:00 it says that Jesus got up and walked away from
17:02 being with the children in this interaction.
17:04 He got up and walked away and the rich young ruler,
17:08 notice it says, "he came running."
17:14 That's pretty amazing when you think about it.
17:16 Put this young man in contemporary picture.
17:19 Academically, you know, up in the upper echelon,
17:25 wearing the right clothes,
17:27 having the right heritage and parentage.
17:31 This young man who has some position
17:34 in society that would cause his nose to go up.
17:38 That young man, something triggered him
17:41 to loose all sense of propriety.
17:44 To surrender his sophistication.
17:48 There was something in his observance of Jesus' interaction
17:52 with children that broke this young man.
17:55 That he--for a moment he forgot who he was
17:58 and what his reputation was in Israel
18:00 in the house of faith and it was like, "wow!
18:03 I've got--I've got to this catch this man."
18:06 He saw, according to all three of the gospels,
18:08 he saw something in Jesus' interaction with the children
18:12 that's so amazed him.
18:14 It was like, "I've never seen a religious teacher like this.
18:18 I've never heard a man speak like this.
18:21 I never understood God to feel this way about children."
18:29 There aren't any Rabbi's going around doing this,
18:31 not anywhere in Israel.
18:32 I never heard this--
18:33 and something snapped in the young man.
18:36 And when he saw Jesus and the entourage,
18:38 the inner circle, moving way down the road.
18:41 I almost envisioned that the rich young ruler
18:43 standing there, weighing out what he's seen,
18:46 what he's observed and all of a sudden,
18:47 "wow! I've got to catch him. He is getting away."
18:50 And he takes off, robe flying,
18:52 you know, sandals kicking up dust.
18:54 He takes off to go catch Jesus
18:57 because it's evident that Jesus has something to offer
18:59 that he has never heard from any religious teacher around before.
19:03 And it meets a need, its strikes him to the heart.
19:07 He came running and when he got to Jesus,
19:11 again without a whole lot of weighing out
19:14 the implications of how this would look to the crowd,
19:18 it says that he knelt down before Jesus.
19:22 Just fell before him and he said, very important sentence,
19:25 " good master," verse 17 of Mark Chapter 10,
19:29 "Good master, what shall I do?"
19:34 When you read it in the other gospels
19:35 they, "what good thing shall I do?"
19:38 What-something, I'm missing it somewhere.
19:44 "What good thing shall I do, and the word isn't that I may,"
19:49 and this is powerful, this is important, "inherit".
19:53 "That I may inherit eternal life?"
19:57 "What good thing shall I- "I am not sure that a poor kid,
20:03 somebody who came from lower end of society,
20:07 I'm not sure that he would have used the word, "inherit."
20:11 Because you're dealing with a young man
20:13 whose parents apparently were something.
20:17 They had a name, they had a big house up in the hill.
20:21 He was used to getting things in life
20:23 because they were handed to him.
20:26 He expected to inherit.
20:30 He didn't say what good thing shall I do that I might earn?
20:36 He said, inherit because he's coming from his own frame work
20:40 of being born of rich kid.
20:42 Having things handed to him.
20:46 He didn't build the business from the ground up.
20:50 No, he was going to take it over for dad,
20:53 when dad was dead.
20:55 He was use to the idea
20:57 that things would just be handed to him, to inherit.
21:01 "What good things shall I do
21:04 that I might inherit eternal life?"
21:07 Now the very fact that the young man
21:09 asked the question tells you something.
21:12 There's power in the silence that has triggered the question.
21:18 There's this unspoken foundation to the question,
21:23 which is, "I obviously feel I don't have it now."
21:27 If this young man was completely at peace settled on the fact
21:33 that everything was alright.
21:35 That he and God were just like this, and, you know,
21:38 he was gonna waltz right into the kingdom
21:40 and everything was fine.
21:41 That eternal life was assured to him,
21:44 he never would ask the question.
21:46 The very fact that he asked the question
21:48 tells you there was something turning inside of him,
21:52 a sense of dissatisfaction, that he did not have the security,
21:57 the assurance that he desperately
21:59 ached for everyday.
22:02 "What good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?"
22:07 because apparently I don't have it now.
22:11 Jesus did some interplay with him and then finally he says,
22:17 "Keep the commandments."
22:18 That's basically what it says in verse 19.
22:21 "Okay, you're asking me what you should do
22:23 to inherit eternal life. I'll tell you what to do?
22:25 Keep the commandments." Can you imagine the frustration?
22:29 This young man-- his response immediately is,
22:32 verse 20, "what are you talking about?"
22:35 He says, "All these I have observed."
22:41 And it's almost like Jesus was being facetious
22:44 in order to teach him something.
22:47 Jesus wasn't being deceptive or lying.
22:50 He was pulling the rug out from underneath the young man
22:53 so that he could stand up straight
22:56 instead of in the crooked posture
22:57 of his preconceptions.
23:00 Keep the law,
23:03 but I've kept the law and Jesus goes, get it.
23:09 Get the point?
23:11 Up to this point you have and it's wonderful,
23:14 you don't find it in any of these three gospels.
23:16 You don't find Jesus ever looking at him and saying,
23:18 "no you know you didn't, you never kept the law."
23:22 Jesus doesn't challenge him on that.
23:25 Jesus accepts the young man in sincerity when he says,
23:27 "look ever since I was small, I've done everything
23:30 that I knew how to do and it isn't good enough
23:32 I haven't yet attained that sense of security."
23:35 Jesus never argued with him.
23:39 Keep the law, oh, but I've done it ever since I was young.
23:42 Jesus said, "in that case we better try something else,"
23:44 that's a paraphrase.
23:46 Jesus said "look it's going to have to change,"
23:51 verse 21 "Jesus beholding him,"
23:53 this is so sweet, "Jesus beholding him loved him."
23:55 Jesus knew that in this young man he meant it.
24:01 He was troubled and he meant it.
24:04 He wanted the answer and it invoked
24:06 out of Jesus a responsive, this is a sincere heart.
24:10 You know, many of us as Christians don't realize
24:12 that this story has no end, I love that.
24:16 In all three of the gospels it says that the rich young ruler
24:19 turns away, he had a lot to chew on.
24:23 I mean Jesus had given him, you know,
24:24 something to really struggle with
24:26 but it doesn't say that he stayed away.
24:29 It doesn't say that he walked away and he never came back.
24:31 I love the fact that story is open ended,
24:35 there it has the young man.
24:36 He's got to go away and weigh this thing out.
24:40 And, of course, you can envision hope during the next week,
24:45 crucifixion weekend, Pentecost,
24:47 something that it all falls into place for him and he says,
24:50 "that's it I will do it."
24:51 And what is Jesus asking him to do?
24:54 "One thing thou lackest," verse 21,
24:56 "go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast,
24:58 and give to the poor," it isn't that Jesus is necessarily,
25:03 you know, telling him, "okay, this is the check list."
25:06 What Jesus is doing is saying, "look the young man
25:09 that you have been you can't be anymore.
25:13 The life that has been normal and common
25:16 to you cannot be the life that is going to be yours
25:21 for the rest of your days.
25:23 If you want to really inherit the kingdom,"
25:28 inherit comes again my friend, "it is that Christian demand.
25:32 You must die self.
25:35 You have to be willing to have the past die.
25:39 What has been your common and your norm,
25:42 your modus operandi for life up to this point.
25:45 It isn't gonna work from here on out."
25:48 You up to this point rich young ruler
25:50 have been the Lord of your fate.
25:54 Not if you want part in this kingdom.
25:56 If you want a part in this kingdom, you died to self.
26:01 You surrender all that you have known as normal
26:06 to whatever God dreams for you
26:09 that is the cutting demand of Christ.
26:13 The young man had much to think about,
26:14 and he turned and walked away and, of course,
26:17 as you finish and you go on through the chapter
26:19 the apostles they-- you know, we kind of wanted
26:22 somebody like this in the inner circle
26:24 because that would impress everybody.
26:25 And then suddenly Peter, of course,
26:27 you know jumps into the picture, he says, hey, I get it,
26:29 I gave up my nets, I left everything that,
26:32 and that I've got lock on the kingdom.
26:33 And Jesus looked at him and said,
26:34 "My friend you haven't lost a thing."
26:37 Jesus answered verse 29, you haven't given up a thing
26:40 if you read it in context.
26:43 That if we get the idea that surrendering this known
26:47 life that has been my life is sudden great active
26:51 self modification and sacrifice.
26:54 I am not getting the big picture,
26:56 I'm giving up something that is only a vapor,
27:00 its not even the real picture of this universe as it operates.
27:04 I am giving up this vapor of a life
27:06 which is only three score and ten more or less,
27:09 for something that's on the other side.
27:11 Jimmy Elliot before he died when he was young man,
27:13 he wrote he says, "He is no fool,
27:15 who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
27:21 That's a wonderful sentence.
27:22 He is no fool, who gives up
27:24 what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
27:28 Jesus asked the rich young ruler,
27:31 are you willing to give up what you can't keep anyway,
27:33 you are just going to get old, wrinkled, bald,
27:34 and you're gonna die.
27:37 Are you willing to surrender that
27:38 for something that cannot be taken away?
27:42 But you can inherit, and by the way
27:44 nobody ever inherits anything unless somebody dies.
27:49 Inherit the kingdom
27:52 from the death of our sacrifice what a story?


Revised 2014-12-17