When he (the rich young ruler) heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:23-30)
Thank you for visiting. It’s encouraging you want to dig into the Bible with me. Some read this passage quickly and think God sends all rich people to hell. Most churchgoers know the snippet: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Ministers preach it repeatedly out of context so their offering plates will overflow. Maybe God calls some to give away most of their earned income, but reading Christian blogs, people aren’t giving away their money because of their calling but because of this passage, and that’s not what this Scripture is about.
In Luke 4:28-30 Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law, so Simon is married. And in Luke 6:14, the list of apostles, it is in parenthesis that Jesus renamed Simon, Peter. And, in 1 Peter 5:13, Peter refers to Marcus, my son. Although some Bible scholars don’t think it was an actual son, it may have been. So, we know Peter is married and may have a son, but we have to dig through Scripture to find out.
Then, it isn’t a coincidence that Peter, and not another apostle, spoke here. Peter gave up intimacy with his wife and possibly missed his son’s first words, hugs, and walks to be on the road with Jesus. So, reading between the lines, Peter said, “So what if this rich ruler gives away all his money, I gave up something priceless, my family.”
People asked, “If rich people can’t be saved, who can?” And in yesterday’s Scripture the rich young ruler asked, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered both questions at once: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” It is impossible for mankind to get a camel, a rich person, or anyone through the eye of a needle; we can’t save ourselves. But God makes it possible. God is good. “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” (Romans 11:32) Every sinner who comes to Jesus (the rich young ruler) will be saved by God, but those who follow Jesus (Peter and hopefully us) will receive many times as much, both in this age and in eternal life.
Father God, thank you for Your forgiveness and mercy. Continue to show me how to follow Your Son. Help me have a come to Jesus moment every day, grow in my relationship with Him, and become more like Him. Keep the enemy out of my life and my family’s lives. Show me and prepare me for change to myself that I can only make with Jesus’ help. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.