Paradox of Salvation

Message: In Mark 10, we read once again the paradoxical statements of Jesus as he tells them all how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. He had just had the encounter with the rich young ruler and after the young man tried to tell Jesus he had followed every command since youth and asked him what else he lacked. Jesus responded by telling him to sell all of his possessions and give it all to the poor. This was the non-negotiable in his life, so he ended up walking away sad. Jesus didn’t stop there after he left, he was making a point. The point being that whatever we are hanging onto tightly in our lives will be the thing that keeps us from giving our all to Jesus. It’s the things we are unwilling to surrender in our lives. Not everyone struggles with the “burden of wealth” so we may feel safe from this one, but if it’s not wealth, it could be something else. The point being, anything we are reluctant or refusing to let go of to follow Jesus. It reminds me of some of those “this or that” memes that go around social media. One popular one shows different mansions or cabins in secluded places suggests-you could live here, BUT you would have to give up your phone, or the internet etc. Most of us wouldn’t want to permanently give up our phones and internet, but we also recognize the greater value of living in the mansion or the cabin. It sounds absurd to compare this meme to salvation but what Jesus is communicating here is that there is a high cost for the weightier things. We see it in basic life all the time. If we want to feel well and look good, we will need to make some sacrifices of things we enjoy to obtain the benefit of health. I struggle to give up my freedom to eat whatever I want in order to be healthier. In the case of salvation, Jesus is telling us that our decision to follow Jesus will cost us our freedom to do what we want. It will cost us the securities we want to hang onto because he requires all of us. This is where the disciples asked him in verse 26 “then who can be saved?” Jesus responded “with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” We aren’t capable of doing what Jesus commanded on our own, but we he will accomplish it through us if we choose to follow him. On an ironic side noteā€¦this scripture is often used to back up things that WE want to accomplish, but the context here is actually salvation and it’s all about giving up what we want to do and trusting God in our fulfillment. After telling them to surrender it all Jesus responds back in verse 29 telling the disciple that those who have surrendered all of those things will gain 100 times what they sacrificed in salvation.

Command: I need to surrender everything in order to follow Jesus.

Promise: Jesus promises that what we sacrifice in order to follow him will be gained back 100 times more.

Warning: We can’t hang onto things that we are commanded to sacrifice and still follow Jesus.

Application: The application of this is incredibly individual and personal. There can’t be anything in my life that Jesus is not allowed to touch. My family, my finances, my position or even my physical body and abilities. There is no salvation without complete surrender so I need to be willing to surrender it all with nothing held back. The paradox of it all as that when I do surrender my rights to it all, he makes something of it that I could have NEVER accomplished. He is not out to punish us, he is teaching us to trust him, but in trusting him we can’t have anything held on reserve.

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