SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

BUYING REAL TREASURE (12 OF 52)

by Christopher Harbin


This content is part of a series.

Buying Real Treasure (12 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part 2
Christopher B. Harbin
Matthew 19:16-30


Treasure is a word centered on our values. As the saying goes, ''One man's trash is another man's treasure,'' because we place different values on items and issues. We see different possibilities in the opportunities and resources around us, and we impute different values on them in accordance with our desires and the use we have for the resources at hand. When it comes to the gospel of Jesus, however, there are a whole new set of priorities with which we are called to assess life and those things we might consider worth treasuring.

Nationally, we are in conflict with Jesus' gospel. We have several conflicts, but one perhaps stands out above the rest. Our economy, the ''American Dream,'' and the priorities of our business interests center around profit-making as the highest of our public values. Jesus, on the other hand, simply refuses to allow economic profit and amassing wealth be centerpieces for those who would be faithful to his life and teaching. While we crave wealth for the security and power it brings, Jesus calls us to dependence. He calls us to reassess our priorities and redefine our greatest treasures.

In Matthew 19 we find a record of Jesus' encounter with a wealthy man of importance. Jesus did not seek him out, but he approached Jesus publicly to seek Jesus' counsel on securing his future with God. ''Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?''

For many, the question itself is filled with theological problems, for we understand salvation as a gift of God's grace, not a product of the quality of our deeds. Jesus' conversation with the man does not really proceed along those lines. Rather than address those issues of doctrine and theology, Jesus' conversation with the man is much more focused on the expectations of traditional Jewish doctrine itself. He points the man back to the standard definitions of what it meant to be go ...

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