Enter the Kingdom – Mark 10:13-31
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – May 24th, 2020
- Coming off the heals of the “test” of the Pharisees and Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce, Mark records and connects us to another event that happened during this time, parents bringing their children to Jesus. From this interaction and teaching we learn valuable lessons from Jesus about children and the kingdom of God.
- Mark couples this teaching to the interaction with a rich young man to further illustrate and explain how one is to enter the kingdom of God and the results of fully and faithfully following Him.
Enter the kingdom like a child
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
- This is the primary passage for the dedication and blessing of children. This is not infant baptism, because baptism is a choice made by the person being baptized, and this is the choice of the person or parent bringing the child to Jesus.
- Perhaps because of the pressure on Jesus from the crowds, or perhaps because the disciples undervalued the faith and importance of children, they “rebuked” the people from coming to Jesus. When Jesus saw this, He was “indignant” – greatly displeased, vexed, outraged, incensed – that they would do this. Any word, action or activity that keeps children from connecting to Jesus and the kingdom of God greatly displeases Him. This is the main reason why we should give ourselves to reaching the fostering the faith of children, they are valuable and precious to God and He recognizes their faith as valid and looks to bless them and their lives. It is always better to reach and redeem someone at the beginning of their journey than have to rescue and restore someone later in their life.
- The kingdom of God belongs to children who have faith in Him. And the truth is that no one will enter the kingdom of God unless they receive it like a child. Entrance into the kingdom of God is granted as a gift as to a child not as something that can be earned as a reward. One has to receive it like a child in order to gain entry to it. (See also Rom. 5:15-17, 2 Cor. 9:14-15)
Eph 2:8-9 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- To further illustrate and demonstrate this point, Mark records the interaction with the rich young ruler.
You cannot enter without full surrender
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must 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. 19 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.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
- Jesus and His disciples were leaving that place and as they had just set out on their journey, a man ran up to Jesus and knelt before Him. You have to love this guy’s urgency, humility and sincerity. He opened up the conversation with a recognition of who Jesus was as a “Good Teacher”. Jesus then questioned him by stating that the only one who is good is God alone – Jesus did not deny that He was good, therefore stating that He was God – and saying that no other person is truly good . . . This man was “good” is the sense that he followed the command of God when it came to loving people (Jesus cited the last half of the 10 commandments concerning how we treat other people).
- This man was indeed “good” when it came to treating people “good” according to God. However this did not qualify him for being “good” in the eyes of God because He did not fully surrender himself by having “no other Gods before me – you should not bow down to them or serve them”. Jesus revealed his heart by calling him out on what he truly served and worshiped before God. And this man then walked away “disheartened” and “sorrowful”.
- This tells us that many “good” people will not enter the kingdom of God, even though they treat people well according to the law of God, but they don’t have God first in their life, they are worshiping and serving money, possessions or other things before Him. To enter the kingdom of God one must fully surrender all that they are and all that they have and put all these secondary to serving and following God. No one will “inherit” eternal life without fully surrendering to God and no one and “earn” their way into heaven (“what must I do”) it must be received by grace.
You cannot enter without God’s grace
Mark 10:23-27 ESV
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult 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 person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
- The more you have, the harder it is to surrender yourself and it all to God. It is impossible for you to bring these things with you. It is impossible for you to have something of more importance to you than your citizenship in the kingdom through your allegiance to the King. The only way that someone is to be “saved” is by the grace of God. With man, it is impossible to enter into the kingdom on our own, no matter what you do, no matter who you are, no matter what you have. But with God, all things are possible.
- God make it possible thought Jesus to enter into His kingdom.
John 14:6 ESV
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Romans 3:23-24 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
- “All thing are possible with God” primarily has to do with salvation, and He has done what is impossible for us to do, and in following in being “in Him” and following in His way we will enter.
In giving you will receive
Mark 10:28-31 ESV
Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
- Peter piped up and said that they had all left everything to follow Him. Jesus replied that in leaving all these things, family, home, possessions and land for the sake of the gospel (this was not leaving them because you don’t like them or you don’t want it anymore but for the gospel) those who do so will receive all of these thing back in this age – which is true in so very many, many ways . . . also you will receive persecutions in various form – some are mild . . . and some are severe . . . also in the age to come, you will receive eternal life – something that has the greatest of significance and value!
- In this world those who have all of these things, family and friends, and homes and lands and wealth and security are seen to be “first” and many people live their lives to be “first”. But in the eyes of God, in the eyes of the one person who matters the most, these people are “last” and the “last” people who are here on earth are the “first”.
- So very often the faith of the “last” is so much greater and stronger than those who are “first”. This world looks down on the poor, the disabled, the uneducated, the powerless – they consider them the “last” but in the eyes of the Lord they are indeed the “first” and when the kingdom comes in its fullness this will be the way that it will be. See yourself and your life through the lens of the Lord, and choose which reward you desire most.
Conclusion and Communion
- Here is a recap of what we covered today, and take these things to heart, have a conversation with God about these things and ask Him to show you your heart and then choose to see the world as he does, choose to surrender all to Him, and to live out that surrender during your time here on earth.
- Do everything you can to bring children to Jesus, ever hinder them by word or action, do everything you can to support and encourage their faith in Christ.
- Jesus laid down His life, He made a way, He is the way for each one of us to enter into the kingdom
1 John 4:9-10 NIV
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.