Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Matthew 19:16-26


16 And someone came to Him and said, ``Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?'' 17 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 into life, keep the commandments.'' 18 Then 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; 19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'' 20 The young man said* to Him, ``All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?'' 21 Jesus said to him, ``If you wish to be complete , go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me.'' 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus said to His disciples, ``Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 ``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.'' 25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, ``Then who can be saved?'' 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, ``With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.''

NOTE the contrast between the rich man and the needy children in the previous paragraph. The problem is not that this man had wealth, but that the wealth he possessed had become his god. It was that which he was depending upon and therefore, it was the obstacle between him and God. Because of this property he owned, he was unable to follow Jesus. Jesus points out that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. In fact, with people it is impossible! But God is into handling impossibilities such as this! For a rich man or anyone else entering into the Kingdom is a supernatural transformation work of God Himself.

Note that most of your translations say that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. In the Aramaic translation of Jesus' words (the language Jesus actually spoke), the word is not "camel", but "rope". Now that makes more sense and more realistic to what the people understood.

The application here is to ask yourself what it is that is between you and God-between you and following Jesus. You were created to be dependent upon your Creator and if you are not dependent upon Him, then you will naturally become dependent upon something else (that may not be all that bad in itself, but becomes that which separates you from God). So, what is it that tends to come between you and your walk with Jesus?

Here's a good way to measure whether or not you are holding on to something too tightly or when something has become your god. Anything that is non-negotiable with God is now your God. Think about it! God, you can have everything, but my business, my spouse, my kids, my security, my house or my car. Anything that is non-negotiable with God is now your God. Think it over!