The Algorithm of Life
February 05, 2023 | Peter Rowan
Passage: Luke 18:18-30
What do you need to do to have eternal life? Get your life all in order? Don't drink, smoke, or chew or go with the girls who do? Obey all of the commandments from when you were young? And who gets eternal life? The people who are able to help a lot of people in this life? The people who ask the right questions, who study hard, who sit in the front row? Or maybe the people who are vocal about all of the right issues? This week in Luke 18, the rich young man who has it all together, who's worked hard and been diligent with his money and his time and his morals and asks the right questions still doesn't get it. He wants the Kingdom of God, he wants eternal life, but not so much that he can't give up his wealth. Jesus teaches us, and he embodies for us, that in order to live you must die, but dying is always worth it!
The temptation when you read this passage is to say, "Yeah, this is all just about wealthy people, if wealthy people would just get rid of their wealth." But with this word wealthy actually has some some related words that actually say, mean things like this: give testimony about where you can say, "Hey, look at what I did. Look at my possessions of a mental mind. Look at how smart I am Jesus." And you can rest on that. You can rest on sort of all the things that you've accomplished. You can rest on all the all the ways that you've sort of fought good causes in the world and say, "look," and those things can actually be the hindrance for you entering the kingdom of God. What I want you to hear this morning is Jesus words, how difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God because wealth. Wealth doesn't just have to do with dollar signs. You can be poor in money, and rich in intellectual life, you can be you can have a mind that you can stake your life on it can be your life, what you find your worth in, you can be poor and money, and still have order in your family, right? At least my kids obey me. And that is your identity. And that's your life. You can be poor in money, but be beautiful in appearance and stake your life on your good looks. And as long as you do any of these things, it will be impossible for you to enter the kingdom of God.
The Gospel of Luke is best described by its author in the first four verses of the book: "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."