Issue #193

I was 18 years old when I accepted the gift of salvation and became a follower of Jesus. Within the year, I was teaching Sunday School and ever since then I have been serving the Lord in way or another. I spent 16 years being involved in Beach Missions in caravan parks and camping grounds on the NSW south coast. I have been a youth leader, scout leader, Bible study leader, missionary and pastor. I have shared the good news of Jesus in regional cities and towns of NSW, on the streets of the city of Sydney and even in the slums of Nairobi. In all these years and in all these locations, I have never once had one person come up to me and ask, “What must I do to inherit life?” I have longed for that day; that occasion, where I could just simply share the gospel with a person who has expressed interest in spiritual matters. No, it has always been to people who normally have no interest in talking about spiritual matters let alone Jesus!

Today, we come face to face with a young man of notable repute. He was quite an outstanding person in so many regards. Compare him to the four characters that we have focused our attention on in recent weeks. First there was the paralytic. Second, Levi the tax collector. Third, the prostitute. Fourth, the demon possessed man. All interesting characters to say the least. Characters with all sorts of problems, issues and baggage. Yet each, after encountering Jesus, were transformed and became followers of Jesus! How strange that Jesus, the Son of God, would bother to care for a paralytic! How cringe worthy for Jesus to stop by at the office of a despised tax collector and collaborator of the much hated Romans. How outrageous it was for Jesus to allow a prostitute to fall at his feet and weep uncontrollably. How shocking it was for Jesus to ask a once demon possessed man to become His messenger to a people group that had turned their backs on Jesus and asked Him to leave!

Yet in stark contrast today, we see a prominent, respected, successful, spiritually astute person leave Jesus greatly saddened his encounter with Jesus. Where was the joy in him after his meeting with Jesus? O dear friends, there is much in this account for us today. In fact, in my humble opinion, this young man resembles our situation much more than the other four characters that we have investigated thus far. I believe the principle at stake here is in Jesus very strong teaching that no human being can serve two masters. You must choose one or the other and following that choice face the consequences of that decision!