In verses 15-17, Jesus tells us that we must receive the kingdom of God like one of those children that people were bringing to Him. That is to say, we must approach our salvation with humility and with the innocence and longing of a child for his father. We must be willing to throw off those things that separate us from a right relationship with Him.
Then, a rich ruler approached Jesus asking what he must do “to inherit eternal life.” Jesus then quoted from the ten commandments as examples. The ruler told Jesus that he had kept all of those commandments since his youth. So Jesus told him he still lacked one thing. He told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, and he would “have treasure in heaven.” And he said, “and come follow me.” The ruler became very sad, because he had much in the way of wealth.
Jesus is not teaching in this passage that we must divest ourselves of all of our possessions in order to get to heaven. But in that place and time, he knew the ruler’s heart; and he knew what the ruler needed in order to make the changes in his life that would result in his salvation. His love for the worldly possessions that he had was too great. They had become his idols, and he could not serve God and those idols.
This concerned those present, because they wondered if it was so hard for the rich and powerful to be saved, how could any of them hope for it? But Jesus answered that what is impossible with man is possible with God. It is not that it was impossible for anyone to be saved. The point He was making was that we cannot do it on our own. Only God can save us, and it is through no act of our own.
Still, just as Peter and many others had given up their homes, jobs and families for the kingdom, Jesus said that such would be rewarded many times over even in “this time,” as well as eternal life in the age to come. What would be the reward in the present time? Those outside the kingdom, looking in, often think that it means you have to give up all of the things that give you pleasure and live a boring and unfulfilled life in the hope of something better at the end. But those who truly strive to follow Jesus know that the life one leads in doing so is blessed in many ways that those others do not realize. And those blessings just keep coming as the Christian grows.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.