Discussion Questions to Follow
Mark 10:17-31 (Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 18:18-30)
17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man, a ruler, ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” 19 And Jesus said, “You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up what am I still lacking?” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you still lack: go and sell all you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words the young man was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property, he was extremely rich. 23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples “Truly I say to you, how hard it will be for those who are wealthy, a rich man, to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You. What then will there be for us?” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake (for the sake of the kingdom of God) 30 but that he will receive a hundred times, many times as much now at this time in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. 34 “Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35 “It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Matthew 6:20, 24
20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Matthew 4:19 (Peter & Andrew)
19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 9:9 (Matthew)
9 As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.
John 1:43 (Philip)
43 The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me.”
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Luke 5:10-11 (Peter, Andrew, James, John)
10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
Luke 5:27-28 (Matthew)
27 After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him.
- How does it strike you that Jesus let the man walk away when he would not sell absolutely everything, give it away and follow Him? Does that seem too harsh to you? Does that seem contrary to what you believe about the Gospel?
- Are there things that you could just never do or won’t do if that is what it means to follow Jesus? If that is the case, are you really following Jesus?
- What do you think of the statements made by Craig Keener in the IVP New Testament Commentary on Matthew in reference to the story of the rich young ruler:
“We want to affirm that we are religious enough without costing us anything more than we have already been offering Him.”
“When we say, ‘Just ask Jesus to forgive your sins and you can go to heaven,’ we are not telling the whole truth of the Gospel.”
- Do you think that we try to modify the Gospel that Jesus taught to make it more palatable or comfortable for people to respond to Jesus? If that is the case, are those people really responding to the Gospel at all? Is it possible to trick people into becoming Christians by not telling them the whole truth and hope that later we can fill them in on the details? Is that the Gospel that Jesus or the apostles proclaimed?
- Do you think you have given up all your possessions to follow Jesus?
- How much “sacrifice” do we really make to commit whole-heartedly to Jesus in light of what He says in Mark 10:29-30? Compare 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
- How do you understand the promise of what we receive in this life when we follow Jesus? Do you think we see that in the church today? If not, why do you think that is so and what can you personally do to make that more of a reality?