Keller opens this chapter in the King’s Cross with
the stark fact that Christianity moves away from wealth.
How true that has been in America.
In this time of Covid 19, we cannot help but wonder if God’s patience with us has finally come to and end, and this is judgment. Jesus tells us in this week’s lesson that it is very hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
Likewise, this week’s lesson shows how easily we trust in our wealth instead of God.
We in America and Canada have been shielded from much of the suffering the world has known.
But not now.
America used to be a vital Christian nation.
But not now.
Of course I do not know, but I know that our greatest concern
should not be our finances, but our hearts.
As I read the prophets and their oracles of judgment, there is always the promise of hope that God will relent if there is true repentance. Take, for example, Jeremiah 26:2-3:
Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house…tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Perhaps they will listen and each will turn for their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.
I know I have been pondering my own heart more, repenting more, seeking Him more desperately.
I’m choosing a picture of repentance and prayer as our symbol for the week.
Many of us are wondering what we can do during this time. I would say foremost is to repent and to pray for revival. It is true that our nation has spiraled into great depravity, but 1 Peter 4:17 tells us judgment begins with the house of God. So though we must pray for our nation, we must first personally repent.
This week Jesus asks a rich man to give up his idol of wealth, and he cannot. Jesus asks everything of us. Historian Andrew Walls said:
…there is a certain vulnerability, a fragility, at the heart of Christianity. You might say that this is the vulnerability of the cross.
True Christianity means dying to self,
something we are not naturally prone to do.
But Jesus said, “with man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
Highlight from Last Week:
Our own Sharon gave a link to this 23 minute broadcast from Tony Evans on what the Bible would show us should be our response to this pandemic. The closing analogy of him wooing his wife to be his, is worth the whole sermon!
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- Jesus could see that his wealth was what was most important to the rich young ruler. How does this speak to you in this time of Covid 19?
3. Read Mark 10:17-28 out loud and share anything that quickens you. Can you use it as a springboard for prayer? Repentance?
4. Read the opening section of “The Trap,” (Chapter 11 in the King’s Cross) and share notes and comments.
Tuesday: Caught in The Trap
5. Keller says the disciples came from a culture that believed prosperity was a sign of God’s favor. How do you see this in Bilah’s comments to Job in Job 8:6?
6. Read Mark 10:17-22 again
A. What question does the rich young ruler ask, and what inherent fallacy
is in the question?
B. The ruler called Jesus a teacher. But what is implicit in Jesus’ reply: “No
one is good — except God alone?”
C. Why do you think Jesus told him to sell everything he had?
D. Did Jesus ask you to turn from anything when you came to Him?
E. When you are still before Him, what is He asking you to turn from now?
7. Read Mark 10:23-27
A. Why do you think it is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God?
B. What can make it possible? What made you want to surrender?
8. Read the section entitled “Caught in the Trap” and share your notes and
Wednesday: What Matters Most
Suffering is also a time of great opportunity for believers. Throughout history, it has been Christians who have gone into the plagues. Cuban Christian medical people have gone to Italy to help. We have women on this blog, and many of us have family in the medical profession who are entering in, putting their own lives at risk. I am asking God how I and our little church can reach out — for often hearts are open at this time. Because our church is a home church, we are having small zoom Bible studies that allow us to continue to interact. We are praying about doing Alpha by zoom. We each must be seeking God for how He would have us follow Him in these times.
9. Read Mark 10:28-31
A. What does Jesus say here?
B. What are some circumstances that might call for this? How would this
call for the eternal view?
Once in conversation with a pickleball friend from a liberal church, he said, “Dee — we agree on what’s most important — don’t we? It is to love your neighbor as yourself.”
I said, “Yes — that is important. It is the 2nd greatest commandment.”
I was trying, gently, to show him the importance of the 1st greatest commandment. For unless we love the Lord enough to surrender to Him, we will never have the power to love others well, to live sacrificially with the eternal view. I know that is very true of me, and I must remember it daily.
10. Read the section “Revealing the Trap” up to the quotation of Mark 12:28 and share your notes and comments.
11. Read Mark 12:28-34
A. What stands out to you from the above and why?
B. Why do you think Jesus told him he was not far from the Kingdom of
Thursday: Revealing the Trap
11. Read the rest of the section “Revealing the Trap” and share your notes and comments.
Friday: Avoiding the Trap
12. Read the rest of the chapter and share your notes and comments.
13. Pray for yourself and those close to you on the basis of what you have
14. What do you think you will remember from this week and why?