In my last post, I talked about a rich young man who came to Jesus. He wanted a deeper walk with God. In order for him to reach the next level in his spiritual life, the Lord instructed him to sell his estate, give the money to the poor, and then become a disciple.
The young man was saddened by this call. His desire to keep the influence and position that his family wealth provided was too great.
Jesus then turns and comments to His disciples.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
To understand this we must first recognize what Jesus is NOT saying. The Lord is not saying that it’s hard for a rich man to be saved. We need to realize that entering the kingdom and salvation are two different issues in the Scripture.
Look at what Paul said to the faithful disciples at a church he was visiting.
…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Notice that Paul was including himself in this encouragement. I believe that entering the kingdom of God is about walking in the power and authority of that kingdom. There are some spiritual mountains that must be climbed in order to live at that level.
Jesus continued explaining it to His disciples.
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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.”
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus had a way of using ridiculous exaggerations to make a point. Camel’s hair was a common item used in sewing. The thought of pulling the camel’s hair through a needle, while it was still on the animal, was an amazing word picture.
This caused the disciples to be even more incredulous. They obviously didn’t understand the reference to the kingdom of God. The problem of riches is that once saved, it’s very easy to rely on wealth to accomplish God’s work in you.
It takes the power of God to break that stronghold. It’s not that a Christian has to be poor. But we can’t rely on wealth to do what only the Lord can do.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
In our weak humanity, we look for something to rely on that we can see. Money is very deceptive that way. It seems that with enough wealth, you don’t need anything else. That is until you’re sick…or depressed…or unfulfilled in your walk with God.
We need to seek God on His terms, not ours. Only He knows what will give us increase in the spirit.
Question: What’s the next step in your spiritual journey?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi