Teaching Series
Short Stories with Jesus
Thursday—Failing Faces

Series: Short Stories with Jesus
Message: Failing Faces
Preacher: Dena King
Reflection: David Oceguera​
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Jason Calvert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira

Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.

Read: Mark 10:17-27 in the New International Version (NIV). Note 1–3 insights or questions. 

Reflect: This passage began with the rich man asking how he could inherit eternal life. The story ends sadly for him because he could not do the one thing Jesus asked him to do. This was to sell everything he owned and give it to the poor. Jesus’ command was framed within the bigger framework of the kingdom of God. Jesus said it would be difficult for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (v. 23). Did you catch the subtlety? Jesus does not say it will be difficult to be saved; He says it will be difficult to enter the kingdom of God. In verse 24, Jesus repeats this message a second time as a way of accentuating the point.     

To understand this passage it will help us to take a look at something Jesus said earlier in the book of Mark. In Mark 1 Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). To say that the kingdom of God is at hand means it arrived in the person of Jesus. This kingdom would not take place in the distant future when He returns to earth, but rather it is accessible here and now. The here and now was a theme Jesus consistently emphasized because it is only in the present moment that our faith can be cultivated.     

The question each of us is faced with is “Must I sell everything I have and give it to the poor?” The answer is “yes”—if that is what is getting in the way of making Jesus Lord over all of your life. In this story it is clear that the man’s wealth was his security. To live in the kingdom of God is to make Jesus our greatest source of security. So when Jesus invites us to follow Him, we follow Him because we know that in Jesus we have all we need.     

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “When God calls a man he bids him come and die.” He was not referring to a physical death, but he was making the point that when we follow Jesus there are things in our life that need to die. We cannot have two masters in this life. The invitation to follow Jesus is to lay to rest the things that are keeping us from surrendering every part of ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus. This may seem countercultural to our way of life in the western world, yet it is what is needed in order to experience the Kingdom of God. 

Recalibrate: What are the things that are keeping you from allowing Jesus to be Lord of all your life?

Respond: When you pray, ask God to help you see the Kingdom of God all around you. 

Research: Read Luke 17:20-21 and reflect on what it means that the kingdom of God is within you.

Remember: “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” —Mark 10:27 (NIV)

David Oceguera is senior pastor of the Orange Seventh-day Adventist church in Orange, California. He and his wife Kara write a weekly blog called “In Pursuit of Love” which gives practical real life tools for healthier, happier marriages.

As your young child observes you, they will form their own patterns and habits based on what you do. How does that make you feel? What practical ways are you showing them how to make Jesus central in their lives? 

Is there anything you wouldn’t give up for Jesus? Jesus wants our lives to be full of good things and full of love. When we follow Him, He shows us the things that are good for us! What is something that is so good that you are thankful Jesus put it in your life?


What do you love? Sports? Friends? Pizza? Your dog? Your mom? We use the word “love” to describe our feelings about many things and many people; people we actually know and love and people we will never meet. When we say we love God, does that mean the same as when we say we love mangos? And how does God love us? As Jesus converses with the successful dude in the story, the Bible says, “Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him.” What does that mean? The original word for this love is agape. In short, an unfailing love. A love that says, “There’s nothing you could ever do for me to not love you. Nothing!” Even though this guy wasn’t willing to walk life with Jesus allowing Jesus to lead (he wanted to live life his own way), even though he only want God to be a part of his life and not consume every facet of life (lifestyle), Jesus still loved him! Apparently Jesus doesn’t have issue with rich people—rather He desires an all-in relationship with people. Are you all in?

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