Luke 18:24-30 (ESV)
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.”
This is one of those passages that some commentators try to explain away. The “explanation” offered is that there was a smaller city gate, next to the main gate, that was called, “the eye of the needle” and that’s what Jesus was referring to. It’s difficult to get a camel through this gate but not impossible.
That’s ridiculous for two reasons. Jesus said, “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,” not “the needle.” Also, the follow up question (“Then who can be saved?”) only makes sense if Jesus is speaking of an impossibility. Jesus confirms this when He says, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
But His point about rich people seems to apply to everyone. His audience obviously felt that Jesus meant that no one can be saved, except by God. Of course that’s true, but it seems that they viewed the rich (or at least this rich guy) as the best candidates for heaven. That’s how they thought back then.
Then Peter says something that sort of sounds like bragging, but He’s really just worried that the sacrifices the disciples made don’t count for anything.
Jesus teaches that they very much do count.
Still, only God can get you into His kingdom.
Take a moment to take stock of how you’ve grown in faith, love and service.
Don’t think in terms of “what have I done this month?” or even “what am I doing now?” Look at growth in big, 5 year chunks. That’s important because we get a more Godly perspective. His plans are long term.
Meditate and pray about your future. Where does God want you? What does He seem to be preparing you for?
So, don’t just ask what He wants you to do today; ask how He wants you to grow over the next few years. Where is He leading you? What do you long to see happen? Are you called to make it happen?
Is there something you feel called to study? What books are you reading? Is there some aspect of Christianity you wish you knew more about?
Planned growth can do great things.
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