Are you still thinking about how hard it is to forgive? I am. Today’s passage talks about another obstacle to entering the kingdom, but the last sentence should bring us a huge sigh of relief, whether about this obstacle or yesterday’s.
And behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.
And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, 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.” and when the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking upon them Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Two things about this rich young man.
First, God bless ‘im, he asked Jesus what he needed to do to gain eternal life, and Jesus told him some things he was already doing, and the young man asked what else he could do! If that had been me, I would probably have said, “Yay! I’m doing those things! See you in heaven, Jesus!” But I think I mentioned before that I’m somewhat of an underachiever. I wasn’t the kid polishing apples for the teacher.
Second, when Jesus told him what more he could do “to be complete,” and it seemed like something too hard, the young man walked away and didn’t get to hear the amazing and wonderful thing that Jesus said to his disciples—”but with God all things are possible.”
This is where we sigh in relief. Ahhhhh.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with deciding whether I’m rich enough to be considered a camel trying to go through the eye of the needle. Surely, compared to most of the people in my county I am not rich. I don’t own “much property” like the man in this scene—I only own a half-paid-off two bedroom townhouse. But compared to some of the poorer countries I’m living like royalty. Regardless, I assume that something about me is making it hard for me to get through the eye of the needle, whether it’s riches or not. Whew! With God all things are possible.
What kingdom statement will you use to replace your worry thoughts today? I think mine will be WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, EVEN THE RICH GETTING INTO HIS KINGDOM.
*New American Standard Bible verses used in the paperback version of this devotional with permission from The Lockman Foundation.