Sermon, October 10, 2021 - St. Martin's In the Desert

Sermon, October 10, 2021

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 23
Year B
October 10, 2021

First Reading: Job 23:1-9,16-17
Psalm 22:1-15
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:12-16
Gospel: Mark 10:17-31


Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that w may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and forever. Amen

For God All Things Are Possible

Hebrews: 4:15-16
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested’ as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Having discussed Jesus’ “faithfulness” the author turns to reflect on his “mercy” Through the heavens, Jesus has passed through the series of heavens above the earth and entered into the highest where God dwells. 

His entry is the basis for the confidence and hope of Christians… Approach the throne of grace.

Gospel: Mark 10:17-31 

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

“Why do you call me good? 

No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments:
God gave the Ten Commandments for personal well-being of His people.

 In Exodus 20-2, God said, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaver.”

God had already redeemed His people and brought them out of slavery. And now that they were out there on their own, He was giving them the rules that would govern their lives.

The Ten Commandments, though, were never meant to be a pathway to heaven. They were given so that the community of God’s people could live together. The rich man understood this because he had kept all of the commandments and he still felt that something was missing. The Kingdom of heaven was not something you inherited, but you earned by following the teachings of Christ.

What touch me next… in this lesson was “Jesus, looked at him “loved him”            and said, 

“You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” The man was shocked and walked away grieving because he had many possessions.

The story tells us of a good and faithful man…. Who is loved by Jesus?  Remember…” Jesus, looking at him loved him. “But there is one problem: he is more attached to the cares of this world than he is to follow Jesus.

 It was easier to walk away then to give up his processions.

Putting ourselves first puts God second or third and this separates us from God.

After Jesus makes the next statement, Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 

We all have wondered about his description that “it will be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 

There have been many theories on what he meant by this. Imagining it, means it would be impossible. 

“They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God;

 for God all things are possible.” Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.


He tries to find God, he has faith in God, he serves him and prays to him, yet finds him distant or remote. Job has been known to hide from God.
But we know from (Acts 17:28) God is not far off at all,

 For ‘In him we live and move and have our being.
“We know we do not have to hide from God.”

“Let us, therefore, approach the throne of grace with boldness, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

The Gospel of Mark 10:17-31
And Jesus, looking at him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

You have to admit some of us have more than
we need and some of us have way too much. Jesus doesn’t want us to go to heaven in poverty. What he doesn’t want…. is that what we have, doesn’t to get in the way of following him.

He doesn’t want us to be blinded by greed and possessions, because again we would be putting our possessions before God.

The man’s question is interesting.

He asks how he can inherit eternal life?
We know as Christians, we have received our inheritance through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is God’s gift to us.
Jesus assures Peter that those who follow Jesus and sacrifice in Jesus’s name will be richly blessed in this age and in the ages to come.

Good News:
For God All Things Are Possible

Our Faith in God has saved us and we have Eternal life in the fullness of God’s love. 

The Rev. Lola Culbreath