The Needle’s Eye!!!
Then Jesus said to His disciples,“Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, 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.” When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, 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 lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first…….. Matthew 19:23-30
In our previous study, we read of a Young Rich Ruler who came to Jesus with a Question asking, What He shall do to inherit Eternal Life. And we saw the sadness on His Face when Jesus told Him to sell all He had and give to the poor. Here we read of the Jesus saying to His Disciples that the gate and way to the The Kingdom of Heaven is as Narrow as the Eye of a Needle.
Then Jesus said to His disciples,“Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.: It is very difficult for those who own much of the things of this world not to Love it. Jesus did not say it is Impossible for the Rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, He said it is Hard. It is difficult to have a Lot of Money and not Love it. And if we Love Money, then whether we know it or not, We hate God(Matt 6:24). This does not mean that all those who are poor enters the Kingdom, we enter the Kingdom through genuine Repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ. But it is difficult for people to repent genuinely and have faith in Jesus when they have much and their heart is so set on Earthly things. Also it should be noted that Riches does not mean only Money or Material things. It could be intellectual wealth, Beauty, Position, etc. So many things can make us rich in ourselves. And Riches within ourselves tends to make us proud. And pride makes us big to enter through the Narrow Gate. When we have high thoughts about ourselves, it would be very difficult for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. God resist the proud but gives Grace to the Humble(James 4:6). Riches makes us proud and compare ourselves with others that are not as wealthy as us Materially, intellectually, position and beauty Wise. And that self exaltation hinders us from entering God’s Kingdom. Let us therefore not envy those who have Much of the Riches of this world for it is more difficult for them to enter God’s Kingdom. Let us look at their Soul with Pity for they have more things to give up in order to follow the Lord. They have more account to give before God of how they used their Riches to bless other people.
And again I say to you, 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.” : This is an impossible Situation!!! A Camel can never pass through the eyes of a needle!!! Even a House fly cannot pass through the eye of a Needle. Talk less of a Carmel. If this the How Narrow the gate to the Kingdom of Heaven is, then there is No Hope for All Humans for We are all rich in one thing or the other.
When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”: The Disciples wondered greatly at this saying, they were Like, “Everybody wants to be Rich!!!, who then can be Saved?”. When we see the Demands of Scriptures, it is possible to have this thought in our hearts also that, “Who then can be saved?” when we read Galatians 5:19-21 which says, ” Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” When You read verses Like this and You find that virtually everyone around You seem to be affected by one or the other, You begin to wonder, “Who then can be saved?” when we consider how difficult the way of Salvation is, we will come to realize that indeed, “No one can be saved!!!” Absolutely No one!!!
But Jesus looked at them and said to them , “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” : In the Context, it is impossible for a Carmel to go through the Needle’s eye but God can do such a Work on the Carmel that it becomes Small and able to pass through the Needle’s eye. God can do us a Work in a Man’s Heart that even though He is rich, God can free Him from His riches and takes Him into the Kingdom. God is the only one that knows if a person has been freed from attachment to the things of the world. If God would free us from our attachment to this world, it may be painful and done in ways in which we never anticipated. It may be by allowing You to lose some Money, when something expensive that You bought packs up, lost or stolen. It could be God trying to Free you from attachments to material things. Those who are whole-hearted pray to God asking to be freed from attachments to material things will get answers like this. If you really want to serve God and not the mixture of God and Mammon, He will take you through series of financial difficulties to free you from the Love of Money. Any sincere whole-hearted Christian will certainly pray that prayer. For the Love of Money dwells very deeply in our flesh. It is one of those Sins that is deeply rooted in us. And if we don’t identify it and hate it, and ask God to deliver us from it, we shall spend the whole of our lives being a Slave to the Love of Money. God can do such a Great work in us to be completely free from it and the earlier we are freed, the earlier we can be True Servants of God. A Man who is not freed from the love of Money even if He calls Himself a Believer has wasted his Earthly life because He could not serve God. Whatever He calls service for God was not service for God because Luke 16:13 says, ” You cannot serve God and mammon.”. Money is the Alternative Master to God not Satan. Most believers don’t know that the moment they start serving money, they cease from serving God. There is nothing impossible for God to do. If we trust Him and Believe He can do it for us. He can give to us the nature of a little ant and make the needle’s eye easy to pass through.
Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” : Here we see something of Peter’s attitude. Peter begins to feel self satisfied that He was not like that Rich Young Ruler who could not sell all that He had to follow Jesus. Here is a warning for those that are not young rich rulers. For those who don’t have much properties. I perceive Peter was saying, “Well Lord, we are not like Him, we have left everything and have followed You”. Do you see that self congratulation there in Peter? What we don’t realize is that the Man who has own much properties and given it up may be at a far higher level than the one who never had much to give up. Peter was a Poor Fisher man when the Lord called Him and how much properties does poor Fisher men like Peter has? So we can’t put Peter and this Young Ruler at the same level. We don’t know what Peter’s condition would have been if he owned much property when the Lord called Him. The fact that He has not been tested in that area makes it unreasonable for Him to compare Himself with the Young Rich Ruler. There is a great danger that we can begin to compare ourselves with others who are being tested in deeper areas that we ourselves have not been tested and to think that we are spiritually or morally superior to them. Peter said, “We have left everything!!!” How much had Peter left compare to these Rich Ruler who had to give up so much?
So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, 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 lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. : Jesus appreciated them indeed for they have left the little they had to follow Him. And as many who followed Him, we can be sure that He will appreciate them and reign with Him when He returns in glory. If you give up something for the Lord, is it a house? Maybe you were cast out by your father, mother, brothers and Sister or maybe you have lost property because you were not included in your Father’s will because you became a whole-hearted Disciple of the Lord. Anything You have given up for the sake of the Kingdom of God. The Lord says You will receive Hundred folds and you will also inherit Eternal Life!!! This is the answer to the Young Ruler’s question, “What must I do to inherit Eternal life” Put Jesus first and Forsake every other thing and You shall inherit eternal Life. This is the real meaning of Faith. You cannot believe unless You have forsaken your attachment to everything else. To be United to Jesus is like getting Married. It is a Spiritual marriage. A girl cannot be married to a Man if she is still interested in other men. She has to Forsake the others and cleave just to one. So also, the bride of Christ has to forsake Her attachments to all Earthly things and cleave to the Lord.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first: With this statement, Jesus was trying to explain to Peter that his attitude was wrong!!!. You could have forsaken everything and indeed you will receive a reward for that. But if You keep this attitude of “What shall we get?”, In order words, saying, “Lord, I have sacrificed so much, I have given up so much, what will I get out of it?” This attitude is wrong. And Jesus explained better by telling Him a Parable of the workers in the Vineyard who thought they would get more than others. Peter thought He was going to get More than the Rich Ruler also because He had forsaken something. If we come to serve God with the attitude of, “What shall we get?” Even if we serve a lot on this earth and we are first in the eyes of others as being dedicated and self sacrificing, we will end up as Last despite our service. Our service for the Lord must be a Love service without any thoughts of rewards. Those who Labour for the Lord expecting a Reward will be last in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Dear Friend, with Men, all these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible!!! It is impossible for anyone of us to give up everything we have to serve the Lord, but God can so much work upon our hearts that we find ourselves doing it with Joy. If we depend on the Grace of God, we will discover that the Needle’s eye becomes a Broad Gate to us. If we give up our attachments to this world, then can we truly become United with the Lord. But Beware of Expecting a Reward when You get to Heaven!!! If You are Expecting a Reward for Your Service to the Lord, You will become the Last. At the end of all our services for the Lord, we must learn to say, “We are unworthy Servant, We have only done that which is our duty to do”. May the Lord fill our hearts with the Lord of God(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.