A religious ruler ran up to Jesus, fell on his knees and asked, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good — except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.'”
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away very sad, because he was very wealthy.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is 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.”
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for me and the gospel will receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
(Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30)
The Kingdom of God is worth vastly incredibly stupendously more than any of the piddly little things we have on this planet. If we aren’t willing to give up everything we have for it, our ♥s are in the wrong place.
Jesus promises abundant blessings to those who give up earthly things to follow him — both in this age and in the one to come. He also warns us about the dangers of those who do the opposite.
So, here’s a question for us all to consider:
Are YOU one of those rich camel/needle people Jesus talked about? Before you answer, consider these rather eye-opening factoids:
- The median worldwide household income is $9,733. If your household makes more than that — congratulations, you’re officially in the upper half.
- If you have enough food, decent clothes, a roof over your head and a reasonably reliable mode of transportation, you’re in the top 15%.
- If you make more than $25,000 a year you’re in the top 10%.
- If you make more than $50,000 a year, you’re in the top 1%.
God is after our ♥s. Give him yours 100%. Don’t let anything or anyone on this planet get in the way.
He’s worth it.
(Sources: Gallup; Money, Possessions & Eternity by Randy Alcorn; The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns; StoptheHunger.com; World Bank)
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Iakov Filmonov)