Bible Studies For Life

Sell Everything You Own                   Unit 2              Session 3                     28 APR 19

MATT 19:16 The English translations do not do the Greek justice. He said what single thing could he do to have life eternal. The Jews were very legalistic. Just look at their vast add-on laws. They thought (think) that if they can do the right things, God will accept them. They do not believe (Eph 2:9 RSV) "not because of works, lest any man should boast." We are not saved by good works, but we are saved for good works. The word "workmanship" (poiema, Greek) carries the idea of a "work of art." “Thing” is not in the Greek. So “what single good may I do?”

MATT 19:17 Matthew leaves out what the KJV includes “Why callest thou me good?” Luke has (Luke 18:19 RSV) "And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." Looking at this, Jesus is not saying he is not good. The man has asked Jesus about what it takes to be saved. To have a worth to his answer, the man must recognize who Jesus really is. So Jesus is really asking “Do you believe I am divine? The man did not, but Jesus went on anyway. So why did he ask for this good? Did he really want to know the real answer or did he just want to confirm the answer he had come with? Jesus said “One there is who is good.” Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs in his book An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew, Baker Book House, 1965, page 263 wrote “Jesus means that goodness must not be measured by the moral and ethical standards which have grown up about the customs of a given people or in a given age. There is but one perfect standard of goodness, and that is from God the Father who is perfect goodness.” (Mat 5:48 RSV) "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." 

Then Jesus said “If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” [Note: The Second Covenant did not become effective until the Father raised Jesus from the dead. So Jesus had to work within the constraints of the First Covenant. DEUT 10:12-13] Dr. Hobbs, pages 263-264 “Does this mean that one can have eternal life by keeping the Ten Commandments? That is what Jesus says. But we must remember that Jesus is probing this young man’s heart. The fact is that because of man’s sinful nature it is impossible for him perfectly to keep these commandments. It is for this reason that God offers salvation by grace. And that is what Jesus is endeavoring to get this man to see.” We also must look at (Rom 2:13-16 RSV) "For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. {14} When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. {15} They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them {16} on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." This is how people who never heard the gospel “perhaps” are saved. “Doers of the law” is not a law of works but of love of God and keeping His commands. John put it this way for Christians: (1 John 2:3-6 RSV) "And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says "I know him" but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked."

Remember the First Commandment of the First Covenant: (Exo 20:3 RSV) ""You shall have no other gods before me." The translation "before me" seems to allow for other deities, so long as they are subordinate. A clearer translation would be "besides me." The full Hebrew meaning is in front of, beside or behind. Thus, there are to be no other gods for them except Yahweh. The theological lesson to this mandate is that God is a Unified Oneness, rather than many. Note that in (Deu 6:4 RSV) ""Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD;" “One” here in the Hebrew means a unified oneness. 259. 'echad, ekh-awd'; a numeral from H258; prop. united, i.e. one; or (as an ordinal) first:--a, alike, alone, altogether, and, any (-thing), apiece, a certain [dai-] ly, each (one), + eleven, every, few, first, + highway, a man, once, one, only, other, some, together. “LORD” is Yahweh. That was then. Now it is (John 14:6 KJV) "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Only God decides if the “perhaps” applies to anyone in Paul’s time or ours. At any rate, we have been commanded to do John 14:6. Thus Jesus is trying to get this man to recognize the real God and He alone is the basis for salvation.

MATT 19:18-19 Note the word the man used: “which.” It means in the Greek 4169. poios, poy'-os; from the base of G4226 and G3634; individualizing interrog. (of character) what sort of, or (of number) which one:--what (manner of), which. Just the use of the word “commandment” could mean the add-on rabbinical rules or the Law of Moses. Jesus immediately referred to the Mosaic Law. Looking at all the Gospels, Jesus referred to the man to man part of the Law. In a sense, the easier part to do, but certainly to be more aware if it is being done.

MATT 19:20 We should take it that this man was sincere in his statement as far as the Jews would assess it.

MATT 19:21 Jesus’s response is deep. (Mat 19:21 RSV) "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."" Note “follow me.” Jesus means the same as he said on numerous occasions to people of all age groups, from children to the elderly. (Luke 14:33 RSV)  "So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." Follow me is a demand, not an option, to make Jesus Lord UP FRONT. There is NO SALVATION if Jesus is not a person’s Lord. (Rom 10:9-10 RSV) "because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. {10} For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved." Note the three major aspects of these verses that Jesus is trying to get across to the man: (1) Jesus is divine and One of the Unified Trinity, (2) this Jesus is a particular Jesus, He was raised from the dead by the Father, and (3) mere verbal or works attachment to Jesus is not enough. Certainly works is involved, but only as a way of doing the lifestyle commitment to righteousness. (James 1:22 RSV)  "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." Dr. Hobbs, page 263 “He was leading the young ruler to see that true religion is more than social.”

MATT 19:22 Total commitment, which is exactly what Jesus calls everyone today, was not the single “good” he was looking for. So he left as a man rich in the world but void in Heaven. Was Jesus a failure as a teacher and evangelist? (Mat 7:21 RSV) ""Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

MATT 19:23 Jesus said it was “hard” but not impossible for rich people to make a life commitment to Jesus. I may be that it is harder for rich people to recognize sin as sinful. God is not against saved people having wealth. But wealth, or anything else must take a backseat to commitment to God.

MATT 19:24 To enter "the kingdom of God" (v. 24), i.e., "the kingdom of heaven" (v. 23), is as impossible by human means as it is for a camel to go through a needle's eye. Jesus consciously uses hyperbole (exaggeration) to stress His point (cf. Luke 18:25, note). He intends to show the miraculous nature of salvation for a rich man who must turn his affections from his possessions to the Savior. Thereby he is prepared for entrance into the future kingdom of God (v. 28). Only God can save, a human cannot. That is the message. It is Grace THROUGH Faith in the particular Jesus. (Eph 2:8-9 RSV) "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-- not because of works, lest any man should boast."

MATT 19:25 We can imagine the panic that must have developed in the disciples. The Jews believed that proof of God’s favor was shown by God giving material wealth. So if a person that had the (seemingly) full approval of God would have an extremely hard time to be saved, then what hope could the poor have for any salvation? Obviously they did not understand what Jesus meant.

MATT 19:26 Jesus appears to have known what they were thinking. So he in effect said “God can save no matter what the sin situation of a person.” Also no human need depend upon self or any one else.

MATT 19:27 Note the materialistic nature of Peter’s honest question. The twelve Apostles thought Jesus was their military – political messiah. They believed Jesus would overthrow the Romans and every other nation and make Israel ruler of earth. They looked forward to being sub-rulers under Jesus.

MATT 19:28 This is a widely misunderstood verse because people do not understand that God’s Kingdom is the Church. Note that he said they would be “judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” He did not mean like the judges of the Old Testament. He meant what Paul discussed in (1 Cor 6:2-3 RSV) "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? {3} Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!" Thus it is clear that this “regeneration” means the Second Coming of Jesus when time ends and He sits in judgment of all humans. The saved with be judged for rewards. Then together with Jesus the saved will judge the punishment of the lost and the demons. (1 Cor 6:2 RSV) "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!"

MATT 19:29-30 Therefore these verses talk about New Earth as in REV 21-22. Real eternal life will be on New Earth, not in Heaven. In fact the Trinity will leave Heaven and come to live on New Earth with us. Fantastic! (Rev 21:22-26 RSV) "And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. {23} And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. {24} By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, {25} and its gates shall never be shut by day -- and there shall be no night there; {26} they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations." The Garden of Eden will come full circle on New Earth.

            The cost to be saved for any human is full commitment to Jesus. Again (Rom 10:9-10 RSV) "because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. {10} For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved."

            That ensures forgiveness of future sins. (Rom 8:31-35 RSV) "What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"

That ensures Eternal Security. (Rom 8:11 RSV) "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you."


Marvin Ganote, Hobbs Study Class, Adult Teacher. Home Page: