October 19th, 2006
Life must be tough for some rich people. It must be hard choosing which hotel in Europe to stay at on holidays, and which airline to fly first class on. It must be tough choosing between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. But they’re not the difficulties that Jesus was thinking of when he said that it was difficult for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven. The problem for rich people is that they have lots of stuff, and when you’ve got cool stuff it’s hard to give it up, but you have to give it up if you want to be a follower of Jesus.
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 19
19:1 After saying these things, Jesus left Galilee and came into the districts of Judea beyond the Jordan. 19:2 Crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 19:3 Pharisees came to test him, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”
19:4 He answered, “Haven’t you read that he who made them in the beginning made them male and female, 19:5 and said, ‘A man shall leave his father and mother in order to join to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ 19:6 So they cease to be two people, but become one flesh. What God has joined together, don’t let people tear apart.”
19:7 They asked him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of divorce when we divorce?” 19:8 He said, “Because of your callousness Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not always so. 19:9 Anyone who divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another commits adultery and anyone who marries a divorcee commits adultery.” 19:10 His disciples said, “If that’s how it is between husband and wife, it is safer not to marry.”
19:11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone will understand this, only those to whom it is given. 19:12 Some people are born eunuchs from their mother’s womb, some people are made eunuchs by other people, and some people voluntarily become eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. If you can understand this, then understand it.”
19:13 Some little children were brought to him, so he could lay hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 19:14 Jesus said, “Allow the little children to come to me; don’t stop them. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these.” 19:15 After he had laid his hands on them, he left.
19:16 A man came up and asked, “Good teacher, what good deed can I do to earn eternal life?” 19:17 Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good. But if you want to start really living, keep the commandments.” 19:18 He asked, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’ 19:19 ‘Honour your father and mother.’ And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”
19:20 The young man said, “I have obeyed all these commands since I was a youth. What do I still lack?”
19:21 Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have, and give the proceeds to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 19:22 But the young man went away disappointed when he heard this, because he was very wealthy. 19:23 Jesus said to his disciples, “I can guarantee that it is very difficult for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of God.”
19:25 The disciples were amazed when they heard this and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 19:26 Looking at them, Jesus said, “It’s impossible for people, but all things are possible for God.” 19:27 Peter protested, “We have left everything to follow you. What then will we have?” 19:28 Jesus said, “I can guarantee that in the new creation when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 19:29 Everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children or lands for my sake, will receive one hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 19:30 Many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.”
Entry Filed under: Trust