August 28, 2021

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Matthew 19:22).

Discipleship is a serious calling. It’s a serious undertaking. It’s a serious life choice. Yesterday we said 3 things were required for a person to be a disciple of Jesus in that day and time: (1) a person had to be invited by Jesus to be a disciple, (2) a person had to obey what the Lord commanded, and (3) a person was to follow the Lord’s example and live as He lived. Understand that submitting to these 3 requirements may make a person a disciple, but they don’t save a person. In other words, a saved person is called to be a disciple of Jesus, but not everyone called by Jesus to be a disciple will be saved.

In John 6:53-66 Jesus spoke to many other disciples about the devotion He required of them, the total and complete sacrificial life they were to live for Him. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more (John 6:60-66).

And then there was Judas Iscariot. He answered the call of Jesus to discipleship. He obeyed what the Lord had commanded. He followed the Lord’s example and lived as He lived for 3 years. But in the end, he was lost forever.

The rich young man was given the opportunity to all these things, but the cost was too high. Yet it wasn’t the cost of giving up his material resources that was too high, it was the cost of loving Jesus more than his material resources. He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. The word ‘sorrowful’ literally means ‘grieved’, a keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. Was he grieved that he would not have eternal life? Was he grieved that the price for eternal life was too high or impossible? Most likely so. But the greater grief should have resulted from the absence of love for Jesus that he had for his money. That was Judas’ problem. That’s the problem with a lot of people today. Our love is misplaced. We want eternal life, but we love the things of this life more than we are willing to love Jesus Christ who provides eternal life. That was the problem with this young man. That was the problem with Judas Iscariot. That’s the problem with most folks. But that’s the true cost of saving discipleship.

“Lord Jesus, Scripture tells us that You, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are grieved over our sin. But it is we who should be grieved over the sin of loving the things of life more than You. Forgive us for forfeiting fellowship with You in favor of fellowship with the world. To our shame and sorrow I pray, Amen.” 


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