As Jesus turns toward Jerusalem he is confronted by a rich, young ruler who desires eternal life. How Jesus responds to him teaches us much about the sin of greed and the very nature of Christianity.
Read Mark 10:17-31.
Questions for Small Groups:
To start your group, have everyone share one way they have seen God at work in their life this week.
I. Guard against greed.
1. Are you greedy? What makes it so hard to see our own greed?
2. Read Colossians 3:5. Paul calls greed (covetousness) idolatry. In what ways is greed a form of idolatry (worshipping something other than God)?
3. Have you made your money an idol? Can you answer ‘yes’ to these questions?
-Do you pray for more money?
-Do you fantasize about spending money?
-Do you use spending or stuff to make you feel better (retail therapy)?
-Do you compare your possessions to others?
-Do you struggle to share or give?
II. Greed and self- righteousness.
4. Think through Mark 10:17. What is the rich young ruler asking for? In what ways is this the wrong question? How does he give the wrong answer?
(Note: He should be thinking about his relationship with God and Jesus. His answer is about himself.)
5. Why does Jesus tell the young man to sell everything? In what way is Jesus pushing on the man’s self- righteousness?
(Note: Remember, many believed that wealth proved that you were “blessed” by God).
6. Re-read Mark 10:23-27. In what ways doe Jesus show that we cannot save ourselves? Do you agree with this statement: “You are only a Christian if you believe that your salvation is impossible for you?
III. Overcoming greed through grace and faith.
7. In the sermon we talked about the cost of faith (“take up your cross, count the cost, lose your life, be like a child, sell everything you have”). Have you seen your faith as costly? Do you count the cost of being a Christian?
8. We also talked about the promise of grace. God always empowers what he demands. How does God’s saving grace empower us to live out the costly life of being a Christian?
9. The rich young man sought eternal life? But what is eternal life really? See John 17:3 (also John 6:47-48; 11:25; 14:6; 1 Jn. 5:20).
- If eternal life is Christ’s life then we have union with Christ.
10. Because we have union with Christ, we receive what Christ received. How do you see this truth in Mark 10:29-31?
Discuss the Fighter Verse-
Hebrews 13:5. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”.
- In Mark 10:18 Jesus declares that God is good. How does trusting God’s goodness allow you to personally “keep yourself free from the love of money”?
- How does this verse show the truth that God empowers what he demands? How does the promise precede the cost?