Sundays | 9am & 10:30am

Faith Bible NEXT 2022: Follow Jesus

Follow Jesus
John Witte

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
—Matthew 19: 16-30 (ESV)



Today we continue our discussion about our Faith Bible Church mission statement: We build generations of Jesus followers who take grace to our world.

Last week we discussed ways we are committed to building generations, and today we focus on what it means to follow Jesus. Being a Jesus following is the essence of our faith. Today, through the story of what has come to be called “The Rich Young Ruler,” John Witte taught us there are several ways to follow Jesus.

The story is told in three gospels, and our study today is Matthew’s account. In it, a wealthy young man approached Jesus and asked what seemed to be a simple question. He said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Jesus answered his question with a question: “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)

With this answer, Jesus did two things. First, he established that only God is good, and the implication of his question was, “Do you think I’m God?” Secondly, he answered the question of this young Jewish man. If you want a rich experience in the kingdom, keep the commandments.
The young man responded, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:18-19) Essentially Jesus told him to keep the Law of Moses. Amazingly, the young man claimed, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20). We can debate whether he was telling the truth or not, but he thought he was telling the truth. To this, Jesus replied, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21) Jesus said to this young man, if you want to have the richest possible experience of the kingdom, be a Jesus Follower! Then Matthew wrote, “When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:22)

John Witte pointed out that even though the young man left sad, he still got what he wanted because he chose according to his priorities, and wealth was his priority.

READ > Luke 6:12-19

John Witte pointed out that there are three kinds of Jesus followers; the curious, the convinced, and the committed. The curious are “Sometimes Jesus Followers.” They occasionally follow but are drawn mainly by what they can get from Jesus. The convinced followed Jesus because they wanted to learn from Him. He teaches them new things and gives them an understanding of their lives. He makes sense of things. The committed follow Jesus in worship because He is God. Jesus is the center of their world.

ASK> What kind of Jesus follower are you? Tell the group why you think so.

ASK> Have you ever been a different kind of Jesus follower? When was that? What changed?

ASK> Can you sympathize with the rich young ruler? Why or why not?

ASK > If salvation is not achieved by giving away possessions, why do you think Jesus gives the young man the instructions in Matthew 19:21?

READ> Matthew 19:24

The point of verse 24 is that it’s unthinkable. All human calculations and possibilities stop, and God’s new possibilities start. What is impossible in human terms, Jesus’ followers are to discover to their amazement, is possible to God (Matthew 19:26).

ASK> Do you trust in your resources to sustain your life?

ASK> Is your relationship with Jesus based on His willingness and ability to supply resources to your life?

ASK> How does your life with Jesus reflect total dependency on God, against all human probability?
Posted in