Week 9 - The Rich Young Ruler as a Negative Example

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

     18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

     19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered.  "No one is good—except God alone.  20 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"

     21 "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

     22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing.  Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me."

     23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.  24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!  25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

     26 Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"

     27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

     28 Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

     29 "I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.

Luke 18:18-23

What does this passage have to say about a teachable spirit?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) In this familiar story, how did the rich young ruler show that he seemed to want to be taught by Jesus (v. 18)?

2) What evidence shows that this man thought he had already been taught everything he needed (v. 21)?

3) What was his response when Jesus told him what he needed to do in order to have treasure in heaven and follow Him, and how do we know that the ruler didn’t really want to be taught (v. 23)?

4) What limit does a genuinely teachable spirit have, in regard to the sacrifice required to order to learn, grow, and develop?  What is the limit to your sacrifice when Jesus says to you, “Come, follow me”?  What things are you not willing to sacrifice for His sake?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) Sacrifice is a difficult challenge for most of us; it requires that we give up our comfort to benefit someone else.  How hard does Jesus say it is for a “rich man” (a man who enjoys a lot of comforts) to “enter the kingdom of heaven” (give up everything he has to follow Christ)? (v. 24)

6) Why, then, should we (who struggle to sacrifice) believe there is any hope?  (v. 27).  What should you do about the areas in which you struggle to sacrifice?

7) In what ways do you, as an athlete, resist sacrifice?  What comforts (or excuses) do you need to relinquish, in order to learn, grow, and develop?  How can your coaches and teammates help you to persevere through the difficult demands of sacrifice?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

8) Often, when we discuss sacrifice, we do so in a way that is “comfortable” by ignoring some of the more challenging commands of sacrificial living — like that in verse 22.  When Jesus tells the rich young ruler to “sell everything” and “give to the poor,” is He just using a metaphor to tell the man to be less greedy and more generous — or is He actually suggesting that we should do this in order to truly follow Him?  And (in verse 29) does He actually want us to leave “home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God”?  These are difficult teachings for us to fully understand, but we should not shy away from studying, considering, and discussing them.  A teachable spirit demands that we do more than just read these parts of God’s Word; we must also prayerfully consider and act upon them.

9) Have you ever considered going on a mission trip to learn more about the calling and work of a missionary?  If you feel that God might be calling you to the mission field, you should consider looking into a missions-training experience, to learn more about the work of missions.  NCSAA partners with a number of organizations that sponsor these kinds of trips (even some that are sports-oriented); if you’re interested in learning more, please contact us for more information!

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of teachability, and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about a teachable spirit this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about teachability you’ve discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about a teachable spirit this week...What does a teachable athlete do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of a teachable athlete, and to determine what those qualities look like in action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “teachable athlete”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of a teachable spirit — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding teachability or anything else), and pray together.


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