Let your soul take a moment of rest as you hear God’s word. Put your busy schedule, wandering mind, stressful thoughts, and burdened heart at the feet of the cross and open up to God’s voice as the Giver of Life tends your soul.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
Jesus has just told the rich young ruler that if he wanted to be perfect, he would need to sell everything and follow Jesus. Then the rich young ruler went away sad because he had much wealth. That is the context of this passage. If you want to follow Jesus you must be willing to put everything on the line. As the saying goes “Jesus is either Lord of all or not Lord at all”. Those who follow Christ are promised eternal blessings however to think these things are exclusively temporal or fleshly blessings misses the point. We don’t see any of the disciples who became great kings or chieftains with mansions rather many were supported by believers, yes but they also were beaten and every apostle faced persecution for following Christ. It is intrinsic to Christianity that Jesus is above all things and that to follow Him is at least to be willing to give up everything. There are people who could make a good living and even could accumulate wealth. Paul a tentmaker made enough money to support his mission to the Gentiles without taking money or hospitality in the ancient world. So to have wealth was not the issue to be devoted to wealth and essentially worship wealth was a big problem.
God, help us to put You first in all things of life. As life gets hectic and things of this world seek to pull us away, empower us through your Holy Spirit to live lives that call us into service to You, realizing that the things we give up are not in vain. We thank You for Your love and it is in the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
Go with God!