Text: Matthew 19:16-28
One of the books that impacted my life is The Pilgrim’s Progress. It narrates the journey of a person named Christian, who was lost, hopeless, and miserable. However, throughout his Tomb Raider action-like challenges, he reached the end of his path. But the final challenge seems impossible to accomplish. Yet, he jumped and tried to achieve it. He died. Surprisingly, he reached the Gate and received the prize. How? The final challenge requires dying to self and depending on the Person who created all things. Indeed, a great book that was written during his imprisonment in London.
Biblical survey:  Lost Coin,  Lost Sheep, and  the (Lost) Prodigal Son.
There’s another story in the Bible that seeks the befitting path of salvation. However, unlike the stories shared a while ago, this ended as a tragic one. Read Matthew 19:16-28.
Christ requires Perfect Obedience not because we can achieve it but to show how inadequate we are in trying to do it by ourselves. Only Christ is perfect.
Sometimes even how hard we try to obey God, it is still inadequate. Like Job 23:11, “My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.” Other times, we are proud that we have been faithful to the path of Christianity and claim that we have obeyed everything. Like the rich man, in Matthew 19:20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Surrender: The Pineapple Story (Illustration)
The befitting path is the gospel way. Christ became like us, suffered and died on the cross, and resurrected and overcame death for us to be part of his family. He knew what was going to happen to him. He foretells his path toward sacrifice and atonement. And yet, he wants us to see this as his Promise. The promise of renewal, entrance to the kingdom of God, and receiving eternal life.
Takeaway? A part of the Christmas story.
May we find our way toward Christ. Just like the wise men (Magis) who followed the path of the Star. 1) sough Jesus, (2) offered full surrender, and (3) obeyed God rather than the ways of man. We may also do likewise.
God seriously finds us and puts us on the befitting path, the rightful one for us to find him finally. “We were once lost, but now we are found.” – John Newton.
Christ chose this path for us.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
December 18, 2022