Two men ask the same question

I thought today we would look at two different men who asked the same question about 25 years apart and under very different circumstances in two different administrations.

So let’s turn to:

Matthew 19:16 And, behold , one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

So here we have a man asking a question. The way he asks the  question is interesting. He calls Jesus Christ good, Then look at how Jesus answers him: Why callest thou me good? There is none good but God. That must mean Jesus Christ is not God if words have meaning!

Then Jesus says to obey the commandments.

18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Now if it had been me my reply would not have been as kind as how Jesus answered him. I would have said something like “ ALL OF THEM!!!!!” Jesus was much more pleasant than I would have been! So let’s see what the man’s thinking was on what Jesus said.

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

So this man knows he lacks something. He just isn’t sure what it is. No place does it say that he was being underhanded.

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

If you don’t want to hear this kind of response to a question then don’t ask it because if you ask   be 100% sure you will get an answer. There are times when the answer to a question is difficult. Look at Ananias and Paul. Put yourself in Ananias place. The Lord has just told you to go and heal a person you know is carrying warrants  for the arrest of all Christians. Those who end up in his custody very often wind up dead. You have known some of them. Now the Lord is telling you to go heal him. I would honestly have a hard time with this. The jobs we get are often not pleasant. Sometimes they are downright nasty.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

What is it that stands between you and God and the Lord Jesus Christ. If like this man you ask the you may be told to get rid of that thing be it money, sex, drugs, or whatever it may be. This man went away because when asked to make the decision his wealth was more important to him than eternal life. It can at times be hard.

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The word hardly means with difficulty. The problem is the wealthy person starts to trust in his wealth more than they trust God.  Having wealth is not a sin, in fact Abraham was one one of if not the most wealthy people of his time. The important thing is his great abundance was never more important to him than was God. The same with Job who was called “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” Wealth by itself is not a problem it is where your  trust or faith lies. Do you have faith in God or your wealth?

24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

This verse has caused many some difficulty. How can a camel go thru the eye of a needle? Well you need to dig a bit on this one. Lets look at how Dr. George Lamsa translates those difficult words.

Here is a link you can go to and see how Dr. Lamsa translates this verse. Dr Lamsa uses the Aramaic texts rather than the Greek The Lamsa Bible Matthew 19

King James translates it as a camel going through the eye of a needle and Dr. Lamsa translates it as rope. Dr Lamsa said it was a transmission error. That the word was transmitted wrong when it  was copied into Greek. The rope would be what they used to make fishing nets hard to get through the eye but it would fit with the proper needle.

I have heard of another possible thing that would explain this and you need to understand how cities were built in biblical times. The entire city was surrounded by a wall for defensive purposes. Now there was a gate to the city and it was large so many people could pass by at the same time. at various points there would be a very small gates in the wall that you could get a camel through. It was just large enough that a loaded camel could just make it through the “eye” of this small gate.

Which of these is correct or is it something else I am not 100% sure. I just wanted to present them to you.

So the wealthy young man asked how do I inherit eternal life and he rejected the answer that was given to him.

Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

So Paul and Silas are on their way to pray and a young woman who had a spirit or more accurately a demon of divination (Some who could see the future.)
In the outline of biblical usage this is what it had to say about the spirit of divination:

in Greek mythology the name of the Pythian serpent or dragon that dwelt in the region of Pytho at the foot of Parnassus in Phocis, and was said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and been slain  by Apollo

This young woman is being used by a spirit and her masters they were interested in the money they could make with her knowledge of what was suppose to happen.

So she is following them and telling the truth but for no good reason. I know this because Paul finally told the spirit to go take a hike. If it was something good it would have kept on going. God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ do not need to have a spirit that works for the other side proclaim his word that is our job.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,

20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

Same old song and dance. The devil has been trying this since  Acts 3,4,5 to try and stop the  moving of the word. How many times did Peter and Paul end up beaten and put in jail? It never stopped the movement of the word.

23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard  them.

The jailer if they got away would suffer whatever they had planned to do to the prisoner so he stuck Paul and company in the inner cell and put them in stocks so they wouldn’t get away.Well he sure tried to discourage but at midnight there they are singing praises unto God and praying. The prisoners heard them. The word used means listened to.

26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

So you get this big earthquake and the whole prison gets shook open and the guard figures they all  left was going to kill himself to his surprize they are all still there. Oh Paul somehow knew that the guard was about to kill himself and says whoa don’t hurt yourself.

Here it is.

29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Well he wasn’t told to sell everything he had but he was also not trusting in his wealth either. So Paul and company told him what to do after he asked the question. You see his response

32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.

There you have two men that asked the same question and what they did one walked away the other was saved. It is up to you do you want to go God’s way or your way? Romans 12 tells us not to fall prey to the scheme’s of the world Just follow the word.

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