Jump Start # 2597
Mark 10:22 “But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.”
Our verse today is the conclusion of the Lord’s conversation with the rich, young ruler. He had a one-on-one talk with the Lord. What an amazing experience that would have been. Can you imagine just you and Jesus? This young man had many great things going for him. He was wealthy. That beats most young people. Many today have student loans and are just starting their careers, they are not making much. Our verse says he owned much property. That is remarkable. He was also a ruler. A ruler at a young age. It sounds as if he inherited this, but we do not know.
He came to Jesus. He didn’t just come, he ran. He bowed before Jesus, even though he was a ruler. He didn’t see himself as superior to Jesus or even an equal. Equals stand and talks face to face. He had a question for Jesus. It was the greatest question he could have asked. It was about eternal life. He understood that he had to do something to obtain eternal life. He understood that there is an eternal life. He wanted to know just what he had to do.
This young man had a problem and he didn’t realize it. He had a idol in his heart. There was someone greater than Jesus in his life. It was his wealth. His possessions had become his god. He wanted Jesus, but not more than his possessions. He’d follow Jesus, but with certain terms and restrictions. Jesus was honest with him. Jesus told him the truth. Jesus wanted him to follow. Sell all. Give it to the poor. Follow Me.
With those words, the excitement dropped. His expression changed. One translation states that his face fell. He became gloomy. He was saddened. He had run to Jesus with great anticipation and hope. Now, he walked away, likely slowly, disappointed and saddened.
Here was a person who was disappointed with Jesus. Jesus didn’t do what he expected, nor wanted. He came running, now he left with his face down. It’s just not what he thought it would be.
Divine disappointments—that’s a topic to look into. Many have divine disappointments. Let’s give this some thought:
- It happens when prayers are not answered the way I wanted them to be. I pray and either nothing, or the opposite happens. I pray and things do not turn out like I wanted. Divine Disappointment. It causes one to wonder, why even pray if it doesn’t do any good. Prayers answered “no,” are answered. They are not answered the way you may like, but “no,” is an answer.
There are some things to consider here. First, it’s always God’s will, not my will be done. God is running the universe, not us. We see things from our little spot and think we know all there is to know. We can’t see into tomorrow. God is already there. God sees things we will never see. Second, it is possible that I have prayed for things that I shouldn’t. God will not violate His eternal will just for you. Asking for a miracle, when God no longer does miracles is not according to His will. Wanting God to save someone who has a closed and indifferent heart is not according to His will. Third, it may be that my expectations are out of line. God is not a magical genie that answers my every call. He doesn’t owe me three wishes. We are to serve God, not the other way around.
- It happens when I expect the church to do things that it cannot not or will not. The church must follow the pattern of God in the Scriptures. I want the church to put on a carnival for my kids. It won’t do that. I want the church to buy me a new car. It won’t do that. I want the church to come and clean my house. It won’t do that. I want the church to babysit my little ones. The church won’t do that. Now, some modern churches are all about those things. They’ll educate your kids, walk your dog and wash your car. They’ll make you laugh, dry your tears and analyze why you are the way you are. Congregations that are serious about following the N.T. and being the Lord’s church are serious about sticking with what you read in the N.T. These places will teach God’s word. They will guide you and encourage you. Their mission is to honor God and get folks ready for Heaven. They’ll teach. They’ll preach. They’ll worship. That’s the purpose. That’s what they are designed to do. And, when someone is looking for the buffet table, they will be disappointed. When some are looking for game night, they will be disappointed. What about ballgames? Movie nights? Free popcorn? Nope. The home can do that. The community can do that. The church has another purpose.
You don’t take your car to the post office for an oil change. They won’t do that. You don’t take your dog there to be groomed. They won’t do that. The post office has a specific function. It’ll sell you stamps and mail your packages. That’s the function. Does one get angry, disappointed and disgusted that he can’t get his oil changed and dog groomed at the post office? If he does, he simply doesn’t understand. It’s the same for the N.T. church. People expect the church to be a school, a gym, a place to eat, a place for entertainment, a place to find a date, a place to do your nails and just about everything and anything except prepare you spiritually for Heaven. That is the function and the purpose.
- God can be disappointed in us when we do not do as we ought to. There is really no excuse. It’s not that we don’t know. It’s in the Bible. God left examples for us to follow. I expect Jesus was disappointed with the young ruler because he walked away from Jesus. I wonder how many times the Lord may be disappointed in us when we choose forbidden fruit, and listen to other voices, and follow other paths than what He has shown us.
The rich, young ruler walked away from Jesus sad. His face fell. He had run to Jesus in excitement. But now, he was disappointed. Many are still walking away from Jesus sad. They want to do whatever they want. They want to marry anyone and everyone. They want little commitment. They want to live like a sinner and die like a saint. And, it simply doesn’t work that way.
Disappointed. I wonder what this young ruler told folks when he got back home. Did he trash talk Jesus? Did he blame Jesus? Did he make it all Jesus’ fault? The Lord would give him eternal life, but it had to be the way the Lord said. The problem wasn’t with Jesus, it was with the heart of the young ruler.
And, in the same way, our divine disappointments are not really with the Lord or His church, but with us. Unwilling to change, we will be disappointed. Holding on to vain and worldly expectations, we will be disappointed. Not wanting to follow the Bible, we will be disappointed. Wanting Jesus on our terms, we will be disappointed.
Sure makes a person think, doesn’t it…