Christ offers us a chance to be His disciples, but being a disciple is about more than a moral code.
[Darris McNeely] It's amazing the extent to which people will go to avoid keeping the law of God, the commandments, the 10 commandments in some cases, and especially the fourth commandment. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." And in doing so, they miss a very important point about not only the Sabbath and God's law, but what God is offering to us and what he is doing.
There's a story from the gospels, in Matthew's account, of a rich young man who came to Christ saying, " Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And Christ replied to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There's only one who is good. If you would enter into life, keep the commandments." And the rich young man said, "Which ones?" And Christ said, "You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself," which sums up what he just said. The young man replied to Christ, "All these I've kept. What do I still lack?" And Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go. Sell what you possess, give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Come follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful for he had great possessions.
Now, I've heard this from people in the past, and again, just even recently in a conversation that came up, where people will point to this particular listing of the commandments and say, "The Sabbath is not listed here. Therefore, we don't have to keep the Sabbath. Just love your neighbor as yourself. Be good, show mercy, be kind," all of which is important. But the fact that this commandment, the Sabbath commandment, is omitted does not mean that Christ did not expect us to keep the Sabbath day. What also is omitted from this list is the commandment against idolatry, taking God's name in vain, bearing that up. Those commandments are not done away with as well, even though they are not mentioned.
What Christ is doing here is not doing away with the Sabbath or just giving us kind of a simple moral code of conduct here, what He is doing, He is showing that we are to keep what we are to keep among all of the laws of God. The 10 commandments summarize how we worship God, which is the first great commandment and how we are to then have relationships and love our fellow man, our neighbor, the second great commandment. And this is not a complete list of the 10, nor is it really a complete listing of the points of the law that we are to keep.
Now, what Christ was offering to this young man, this rich young ruler, was a chance to be a disciple. And therefore, the emphasis was, "Go and sell what you have, give to the poor," which, again, is not a command to just go into socialism or communism and selling all that you have. What Christ was doing was offering this person an opportunity to be a disciple. He went away sorrowful because he had great possessions and he couldn't part with what he had. He missed the whole point of what Christ was saying.
Frankly, people today who will use this particular passage to say, "Well, He didn't mention the Sabbath so we don't have to keep the Sabbath," they're missing the point of what Christ is saying. Christ was offering the chance for this man to be a disciple. He gives to us the chance to be a disciple, and in doing so, we have to be all in and we must keep the commandments of God. We must worship God in spirit and in truth.
Don't miss the point, like this rich young man did. Understand exactly what Christ is sayinig. And don't look for an excuse. That's BT Daily. Join us next time.