23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, 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. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
Jesus, I have heard this story enough that I am not surprised that the rich man walked away. I am skeptical of the rich like I am skeptical of Enron or AIG CEO’s. Riches corrupt people in my opinion. What I would be surprised about in my generation is if you sent away someone I know who went to church regularly and was involved in social work which had a ministry connection. I guess that then I would be incredulous like the disciples. I guess, though that this young ruler could have been a local philanthropist. If he did all of the good things that he claims to have done, those good things would have been visible in the community.
So, then, is my first value Kingdom of God living or is it a good name, riches and good behavior? The Kingdom of God is a value, but my own freedom from pain is something that I can pursue before I pursue you. Do I pursue you to free me from pain, or do I allow the emotional disquiet in my soul to move me to you? Which is the end goal? I think that I am finally getting toward the latter.
- Why were the disciples amazed?
- What would Peter and the other disciples receive?
- If rewards aren’t important, why did Jesus promise such magnificent ones?
- What do you consider as being the best kind of reward that you could receive?
- Do you think Jesus will give you that reward?