We have been faithful in sticking to the prescribed passages in the Narrative Lectionary since September. But this week, we will veer from the recommended text. I prepare sermons several weeks in advance. As I developed the sermon on Matthew 20 (we will get to this sermon next week), I was intrigued by necessary context set in Matthew 19. After working on the Matthew 20 sermon, I felt that we needed to cover Matthew 19 further. All this to say, we will be in Matthew 19:16-26 this week and then Matthew 20:1-16 next week. These sermons together provide a powerful picture of the Kingdom.
Let me encourage you to read the passage for this week as you prepare for worship on Sunday. This is a challenging, yet powerful passage.
(Matthew 19:16-26 NIV) Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”