Study One
Are You Ready to Meet Christ?

Mark 10:17-31

       I remember a young man coming to see me when he had just left school and begun work in London. He had given up going to church, he said, because he could not say the Creed without being a hypocrite. He no longer believed it. When be had finished his explanations, I said to him, "If I were to answer your problems to your complete intellectual satisfaction, would you be willing to alter your manner of life?" He smiled slightly and blushed. His real problem was not intellectual but moral.
       This, then, is the spirit in which our search must be conducted. We must cast aside apathy, pride, prejudice and sin, and seek God in scorn of the consequences.


What are two or three of your biggest questions about Jesus Christ?


When you think of total commitment to Christ, what is most unsettling about the idea?
      ___ He might want me to do something I don't want to do.
      ___ He might want me to give up something I want to keep.
      ___ He might let me down.
      ___ I have too many other issues to deal with right now.
      ___ What if he's not real?
      ___ I don't want to be ridiculed for my beliefs.

Read Mark 10:17-31:

      17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
      18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"
      20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
      21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
      22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because be bad great wealth.
      23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
      24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
      26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
      27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
      28 Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"
      29"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

1. What admirable qualities did the wealthy man display?


2. How did Jesus reveal the area of unwillingness in the man's heart?


3. When Jesus told the man to sell everything and give away the proceeds, the man responded immediately—by getting up off his knees and walking away. What do you think he had decided which made him do that?


4. Fear is the greatest enemy of truth and can paralyze anyone who searches for truth. How do you see fear—or apathy, pride, prejudice and sin—working in the rich man's life?


5. Where do you see those hindrances in your own life?


6. Jesus looked at the man and "loved him." What encouragement do you draw from Jesus' attitude toward this seeker?


7. Christ is very open about the cost of following him. What benefits does he promise for those willing to pay that cost?



The rich man asked Jesus a theological question but was not satisfied with the answer. How willing are you to hear and obey the answers Jesus gives to your questions about him?


Jesus went right to the point of the wealthy man's greatest obstacle to faith: he asked the man to give away his wealth. If you were that man, what do you think Jesus would ask you to do?


Open your mind and heart to God in Jesus Christ. Tell him that you are ready to be confronted by him no matter how unsettling or inconvenient it is.
      For further reading: Chapter one of Basic Christianity.

Christ: Basic Christianity, Christian Basics Bible Studies by John Stott. InterVarsity Press, 1994.


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