15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus. They wanted him to place his hands on the babies. When the disciples saw this, they told the people to stop. 16 But Jesus asked the children to come to him. “Let the little children come to me,” he said. “Don’t keep them away. God’s kingdom belongs to people like them. 17 What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who will not receive God’s kingdom like a little child will never enter it.” 18 A certain ruler asked Jesus a question. “Good teacher,” he said, “what must I do to receive eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good except God. 20 You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not commit murder. Do not steal. Do not be a false witness. Honor your father and mother.’ ” (Exodus 20:12–16; Deuteronomy 5:16–20) 21 “I have obeyed all those commandments since I was a boy,” the ruler said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You are still missing one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the money to those who are poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.” 23 When the ruler heard this, he became very sad. He was very rich. 24 Jesus looked at him. Then he said, “How hard it is for rich people to enter God’s kingdom! 25 Is it hard for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? It is even harder for someone who is rich to enter God’s kingdom!” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “Things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” 28 Peter said to him, “We have left everything we had in order to follow you!” 29 “What I’m about to tell you is true,” Jesus said to them. “Has anyone left home or wife or husband or brothers or sisters or parents or children for God’s kingdom? 30 They will receive many times as much in this world. In the world to come they will receive eternal life.”
When I read these passages, I was initially unsure of why they are consecutively written and struggled to find cohesion between them. However, after meditating on them I saw that they remind us of what assists us in entering God’s Kingdom as well as what hinders us. They are a comparison of what can either help us or hold us back from eternal salvation and being more like Him.
As a new teacher I am constantly surrounded by children, and witness their trusting and teachable natures daily. I believe that in verses 15-17 we are being reminded that being like a child, i.e. being quick to trust God and quick to learn from Him, is how we enter into His Kingdom.
Verses 18-30 clearly alert that being caught up in wealth and things of this world are only going to hinder or prevent entering eternal life with Him. Jesus warns us that He wants our actions to be for the sake of His Kingdom and not for earthly pleasures (vs 29).
God, I praise You that You have given us the tools on how to live into eternity with You. Please help me today to be aware of what assists me in growing to be more like You, as well as to flee from all that hinders me. Amen.
Written by Laura Samperi