And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Comment: This man was rich but apparently pretty good. Although I suspect not quite as he thought himself to be. Jesus saw that the main problem was at this moment not the issue of feeling guilty but his love for money. We cannot see this as a statement against wealth but against our love of it! If Jesus was going to get further with him this issue had to be faced. The ruler refused to face it. This makes Jesus sad, and commented on this frequent problem among the rich.
So who can be saved? Look carefully and you’ll these points – they’re not set on a powerpoint dotted screen, but are easy to see!
- Salvation is in the hands of God.
- Peter claimed to be following Jesus, and this was true even though we all know Peter often was able to be very imperfect and good at putting his foot in his mouth!
- Jesus replies that there is a costly separation from others in following Him, it will be worth it here on earth and, because of Him, heaven is assured.
Following Him includes a choice and obedience!
Prayer: Open my eyes to understand more clearly what following you, Jesus, means.