4. JESUS MEETS A SUCCESFUL POLITICIAN (Mark 10:17-27)
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Other biographies of Jesus tell us that the man of this text was still young and yet he was already a member of the parliament (the so called great council). (Matt.19:22 and Luke 18:18). The man knew from the Bible that after his death he would either inherit everlasting life or go to everlasting hell. Notice that in that culture men neither ran nor knelt in front of another man.
1. What do you think: can a human being be happy without knowing what will happen to him/ her after death?
What made this young member of the parliament show such an unusual behavior as running to Jesus and kneeling in front of him (17)?
Did this man consider Jesus as God or just as an unusually wise man (17b-18)?
2. Why wasn’t this man sure of his salvation although he had kept God’s commandments for all his life?
Why aren’t we always sure of going to heaven after we die?
Do you think that somebody can be sure of his going to heaven after he dies? Give your reasons.
3. Which of the commandments that Jesus mentions here is hardest to follow (19)?
Many politicians are tempted to become corrupt in matters of money and sex. How had this man been able to sail clear of all such temptations (20)?
Notice that according to Jesus these commandments must be kept, not only in deeds, but also in words and thoughts. Do you think this young man had really succeeded in doing so (19-20)?
Could you honestly say the same words as this young man said in verse 20?
4. The young politician was lacking only one thing. Summarize verse 21 and say, what was it he was lacking?
5. Jesus mentions a treasure in heaven in verse 21. How can one collect treasures in heaven?
What is the difference between a treasure on the earth and a treasure in heaven?
What are the things that young people in our day usually consider as their most-esteemed “treasures”?
Who or what is your most precious treasure? (You can answer in your heart.)
6. This young man probably had a family and old parents to care for. What would have happened to them if he had followed Jesus’ invitation in verse 21?
Imagine the situation of you yourself being in the place of this young politician. Could you believe that God would be able to take care of your family even after you had given up your house and all your property?
Could you think of giving up your treasure on earth if you by doing so could send it into heaven? (You can answer in your heart.)
7. According to verse 21, Jesus loved the young politician? Why, then, did he say to him such hard words that he went away?
8. After having realized that he could not do what Jesus required from him, what else could this man have done except leave Jesus (22)?
What would Jesus perhaps have answered if this man had confessed to him: “Forgive me that I love money more than you!”
9. Imagine the life of the young politician from this point on: Was he happy? What did he think of his death?
Compare the answer Jesus gave to this young politician with the answer he gave to Peter (verses 21 and 27). Was his answer basically the same or was it different?
Who can go to heaven after his/ her death?
10. THE GLAD TIDINGS QUESTIONS: “Everything is possible for God” means this: Jesus gave up his treasure in heaven and came to this world to suffer and die in order that you would get an entrance ticket to heaven. The big mistake of this young man was that he left Jesus. What are you going to do? (You can answer in your heart.)
(For everyone to answer): What was the most important thing you learned from the text this time?