Friday, October 31, 2008

The Eye of a Needle

October 31: Matthew 19 & Mark 10

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Mark 10:17-27

The Eye of a Needle

In our Bible passage for today, we meet a young man who desired to follow Jesus. When asking what he needed to do to receive eternal life, Jesus explained that he needed to keep all of the commandments. This was good news to the young man because he explained to Christ that he had kept all of the commandments from his youth.

Jesus replied, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Sadly, that was too much to ask, for the young man was quite wealthy. Was the young man's problem only his great wealth? Did he truly keep all of the commandments from his youth? Can anyone keep all of the commandments of God?

Those who believe they keep all of the commandments are those who believe they are righteous, and need no Savior. Let's look at just two of the commandments and discuss ways we all break them.

Thou shalt not kill. Do you ever feel hatred toward anyone? Do you ever speak badly of someone behind their back? Do you ever eat things that are physically bad for you? This commandment entails much more than just murder. We are to do everything to protect and keep ourselves from destroying our own body, or that of another person, including destroying their good name.

Thou shalt not steal. Do you cheat on tests? Do you take items from your place of work (pencils, pens, etc.) home with you? Do you go back and give the cashier their money when you get home and discover that they have given you $2.00 too much in change? Do you borrow money from a friend (even if it is less than $1.00) and forget to pay it back?

The point is that no one is perfect except Christ. We may view ourselves as being better than someone else, but committing just one sin is enough to send us to eternity in Hell! If we are Christians, does that mean we are better than those lost sinners out there who break the commandments and then brag about it? No, it does not! Our righteousness is only in Christ; anything good we ever say or do is by the grace of God and not of ourselves.

As we ponder these things, we should ask ourselves one last question. How much do we love God? Are we willing to go out and sell all that we have and just follow Him?

Ouch! That is a hard question is it not. Jesus said, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

How much do we love Christ? That is our question to ponder this day.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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