The Source for Youth Ministry
Subscribe

Talks/Sermons

The Price of Freedom
by Jonathan McKee

CLICK HERE for a simple PowerPoint for this message.
(Thanks to www.sxc.hu for the background art)

PASSAGE:

Matthew 19:16-26 (NLT)

Someone came to Jesus with this question: "Teacher, what good things must I do to have eternal life?"

[17] "Why ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments."

[18] "Which ones?" the man asked.

And Jesus replied: " 'Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. [19] Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

[20] "I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?"

[21] Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." [22] But when the young man heard this, he went sadly away because he had many possessions.

[23] Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. [24] I say it again—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] The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked.

[26] Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."


MAIN POINT: The free gift of salvation costs total commitment

SOUND BYTE: Are you a pig ... or are you just chicken?

RATIONALE:
  1. Good isn't good enough
  2. What are you holding on to?
  3. Only possible through God
TALK:

Intro- Are you a chicken or a pig? ( a great story I heard from Bill Butterworth)

How committed are you to your faith? One way to find out is to determine if you are a chicken or a pig?

A chicken and a pig went for a walk around the farm. As they passed the farmers window they noticed a wonderful breakfast prepared for the farmer and his wife sitting on the breakfast table. As they peeked closer they noticed ham and eggs on the plates.

The pig and chicken were silent for a moment as they took in the impact of what they saw. Finally, looking at the eggs and prideful of her contribution, the chicken said, "now that was a sacrifice!" The pig looked at the ham on the plate and finally turned to the chicken and said, "Yes, for you it is a sacrifice. But for us it is total commitment!"

State Your Point: So how committed are you? Are you a pig ... or are you just chicken?

Read Vs. 16-21

Someone came to Jesus with this question: "Teacher, what good things must I do to have eternal life?"

[17] "Why ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments."

[18] "Which ones?" the man asked.

And Jesus replied: " 'Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. [19] Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

[20] "I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?"

[21] Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Summarize the story in your own words. So Jesus is hanging out and someone asks Jesus THE QUESTION. This guy doesn't ask what kind of clothes he should wear, what church is the best, whether or not he should see PG-13 movies ... he basically asks WHAT GOOD STUFF DO I GOT TO DO TO GO TO HEAVEN?!!

Jesus doesn't answer the question right away- he quickly asks him a rhetorical question, "Why ask me what is good?" Then he says, "Only God is good."

Jesus is trying to emphasize a point here ...

Point One: Good isn't good enough

The man had asked, what do I DO? DO is the wrong question to ask. Because there is nothing anyone can do to earn a relationship with God. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard."

You see ... good isn't good enough.

Jesus emphasizes this further when he tells the man to keep all the commandments. The man quickly asks, "which ones?" He's really missing the point. But so do we. We want to know the MINIMUM that we have to do- to make it! Jesus names half of the commandments, the ones that have to do with us getting along with others. The same ones that Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount that many of us THINK we keep, but we break them in our minds.

This man does what we would probably do- he argues that he HAS kept them all. So Jesus does something that only Jesus, God in the flesh, can do. He looks in the man's heart and sees what he treasures more than anything else. With this guy- it was money.

You see- this guy was willing to sacrifice ... like the chicken did. But he wasn't ready to make a commitment, like the pig. So how committed are you? Are you a pig ... or are you just chicken?

What it all came down to for this guy was this ...

Point Two: What are you holding on to?

If Jesus looked into our heart, like only our Lord can, what would he see. What are we holding on to? Is it money? Is it stuff ... CD's, clothes, etc.? Maybe we are holding on to a group of people that we call friends that are dragging us down. What's #1 in your life?

If we're like this guy - we have trouble admitting it. Jesus decides to prove what was really #1 in this guy's life. Jesus asks him to go sell all his possessions and give away everything to the poor. And the guy can't do it. Money was #1 in this guy's world. He couldn't let go of it. Not even to save himself.

(Monkey Story) Do you know, it is said, that there are some hunters in Africa that can trap a monkey with just a gourd and some fruit & nuts. The hunter simply goes into the jungle and ties the gourd to the ground. You know what a gourd is don't you? It's a hollowed out shell, shaped like a fat wine bottle. It's got a fat body with a skinny neck and it's hollow inside. Well, the hunter simply drops some fruit and nuts inside the gourd and leaves it overnight.

The monkey comes up to the gourd, smelling the fruit and nuts, and reaches his little arm in the gourd and grabs the tastey treat. When he grabs the fruit and nuts, his fist will no longer fit out of the gourd. The monkey pulls and pulls, but he can't get away. He will stay overnight stuck to the gourd, unwilling to let go of his prize.

In the morning the hunter returns to see the little monkey with his arm in the gourd. As the hunter approaches, the monkey screams and pulls his arm with all his might, actually starting to pull some of the fur and skin off his hand ... but he won't let go.

The hunter wacks the monkey on the head and throws the monkey in the dead monkey bag.

Why did the monkey die?

Right. Because he didn't let go!

What are you holding on to?

A lot of us are holding on to things that we THINK are going to make us happy. Jesus has something better for us. But we have to let go.

Brennan Manning says this, "When God turns away from us because of selfishness, it is not rejection. Rather, it is an invitation to follow Him to a place we would rather not go."

So where do you want to go? How committed are you? Are you a pig ... or are you just chicken?

Let's see what happens in this story.

Read vs. 22-26

[22] But when the young man heard this, he went sadly away because he had many possessions.

[23] Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. [24] I say it again—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] The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked.

[26] Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."

Many of us would like to let go, but feel like we can't. Maybe some of us have tried to make God #1, but can't seem to let go of some of the stuff we allow to control us. GUESS WHAT? Don't be discouraged if it seems impossible to let go ...

Point Three: It's Only Possible Through God

There are some other people in this story that we haven't talked about. The disciples. They were standing here watching this whole thing. Notice that none of them jumped in and yelled at the man, "YOU BAD MAN! IF ONLY YOU COULD BE PERFECT LIKE ME!" None of the disciples said a word ... because they all wondered how they could make it! They all wondered how they could be saved. And Jesus reinforces to us the truth that we need to understand tonight. We can't DO anything, but rely on God.

Christianity differs from every religion in this world in the way it is spelled! You see, every religion in the world is spelled D - O

Every religion in this world is all about what you can DO!

Christianity is spelled D - O - N - E

Christianity is all about what Christ has DONE! The only thing we can do is put our trust in him. Total commitment is putting our trust totally in Christ ... putting him #1 in our life ... knowing that he is the only one who can bring us to God.

How committed are you? Are you a pig ... or are you just chicken?


SAMPLE OUTLINE:

Intro - pig and chicken story

State Your Point - So are you a pig ... or are you chicken!

Read Vs. 16-21

Summarize story in own words.

Point One: Good isn't good enough

Do is the wrong question to ask - Romans 3:23

Summarize story in own words

Point Two: What are you holding on to?

If Jesus looked at your heart - what would he see?

Monkey story

"When God turns away from us because of selfishness, it is not rejection. Rather, it is an invitation to follow Him to a place we would rather not go." -- Brennan Manning

Read vs. 22-26

Feel like it is impossible?

Point Three: Only possible through God

The disciples reaction closing example: DO vs. DONE


Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaking to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.



Rate this talk!
*Name:  
*Email:  What is Gravatar?  
 Website:
 Comment:

Comments on this post

   Travis Watkins         6/11/2014 2:29:17 PM

Just started looking into curriculum for my students and love your outlines. Thank you so much and God Bless!

   danielle         4/6/2014 6:41:30 AM

great example to bring home the point.

   Lee Rivers         7/24/2012 5:26:10 PM

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this sermon. It was very helpful.










GET THE BRAND NEW BOOK THAT PEOPLE ARE CALLING "JONATHAN'S BEST EVER WRITTEN"




connect
click here for more


© 1999-2017 The Source for Youth Ministries           Site Disclaimer