People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth 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 it said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.”
Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Oh, I understand! A rich man can’t easily enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but God can do anything. Anyone can be saved through God. Perhaps we are all sinners and always will be. But through an open and honest relationship with Christ, our inability to sell everything we own can be forgiven. While maybe we should give away all of our possessions, God will not hate us forever if we don’t.
Where I think I struggle is in finding the balance between what I am personally convicted to do, and what God will forgive me for not doing. I read this story where Jesus tells the rich man to sell everything, and I think He must be saying it to me as well. But my greatest stumbling block isn’t my wealth (trust me, I’m a teacher), but rather my pride. Maybe I should be reading this parable “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is proud to enter the kingdom of God”…
Or maybe my problem is that I spend too much time thinking like this rich man. “What am I supposed to do? What am I not supposed to do?” First of all, God already told us that. Secondly, Jesus says that children understand a relationship with God the best. For a child it’s not “tell me what to do” or “tell me what not to do”. It’s much more simple. For a child it is all about how God loves them and how they love Him too. Perhaps if I spent more of my time focusing on the first three verses of this passage instead of the last twelve, I would be closer to God and a much more peaceful, stable, and happy human being.