The Shallow Heart

As Jesus taught He was usually surrounded by crowds of shallow souls. They followed, listened, enjoyed His messages – but never could get around to doing anything with what they heard. They were fascinated, entertained, even deeply impressed with His message and ability. They were responsive in some ways, unlike the hardened hearts. Moved by His message at times, able to talk about the Lord – but never deeply changed. They are unstable, un-rooted, temporary and fragile. Their spiritual life has as much life as a cut flower. They look great until they wither.

What would a shallow soil person look like today? Do we have any clear example to help us understand this person? Jesus illustrates the shallow heart in Mark 10:17-22. 

The clearest Biblical examples of the shallow, submerged rock soil is the Rich young Ruler of the Gospels. He is emotional, says all the right things, makes a splashy profession (with joy received Christ's word) but then when the hard reality of obedience and submission comes at the insistence of Jesus – he withers right before our eyes. The huge rebellion (rocky ledge under the soil) caused the Son of God’s shining the Light of truth upon his life – to scorch and wither that shallow profession of desire to follow Jesus. Hisrebellion to the rule of God, his resistance to the law of God, his unwillingness to acknowledge his lostness -- all show the shallowness of his profession.

Christ's story we look at today illustrates how we often unconsciously blend together the details of all the Gospels into one story. We usually call this the story of the Rich Young Ruler. All the gospels tell us that this man was rich, that is the point of the story. However –

·         only Matthew says that he was young (Matthew 19:20); and

·         only Luke says that he was a ruler (Luke 18:18).

So when we say Rich + Young + Ruler we have joined together elements taken from all three gospels (Matthew19:16–22; Mark 10:17–22; Luke 18:18–23).

One of the most amazing meetings in history took place almost 2,000 years ago. It is one of the best known stories in God's Word – we call it the Rich Young Ruler. A young businessman came to Jesus. He came willingly, he came excitedly, he came publicly, and he came directly.

And what was his request from the Savior of the world? He asked for eternal life.

And what was his method? He came by all outward appearances genuinely. He was on his knees, holding onto Jesus, and looking up into the face of Jesus.

Wow, that is what all of us long to someday do – kneel and look up at the One who loved us, and whom we have loved more and more with all our heart.

By any standard of measurement, this should have been the greatest day of his life. But it ended up being the worst! He became the only person who came willingly to the feet of Jesus who went away unchanged, unhelped, unforgiven, unhealed, and most of all unsaved.

This day was captured in Scripture by God to communicate a disaster of eternal proportions. This man missed the opportunity -- of an eternity. A moment to determine his ultimate destiny was lost.

God left this story with a sad ending – on purpose. God wrote the ending of this story the way He did to illustrate once and for all the SHALLOW HEART.

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