Monday 9 December, 2019

Luke 18:15-30

15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’” 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

These two passages explain how we can enter the Kingdom of God.

In the first passage (v15-17), Jesus explained that to enter the Kingdom of God, we need to come to Him as little children. Take a minute to think about how kids are: they want to play, eat, have fun exploring, make things, build stuff and get messy. Kids don’t have it all figured out. They don’t think too far ahead. They live in the moment. They don’t have all the means or the resources. They are fully reliant on their parents to take care of them which allows them to live carefree and enjoy life. What a great image of how God wants us to be with Him.

By contrast, the second passage (v18-30) is about a rich young ruler. Here’s a man who used to be a kid. But now he’s grown up. He’s experienced life. He knows that trouble and surprises come along in life and he’s learnt to prepare for them by assuming great wealth.

He’s also a religious man, who’s followed all the rules as set out by God’s law. But to be sure that he’s done enough to be in a good position for the next life, he asks Jesus, “How do I get eternal life?” (ie, how do I enter the Kingdom of God). Jesus tells the man to get rid of all his wealth. Jesus doesn’t want this man to be self-sufficient or self-righteous. Jesus is asking this man not to rely on his own efforts but to be like a child and rely on God as his Heavenly Father instead.

Jesus asks us the same.

Lord, help me not to rely on my own efforts. May I let go of them and fully rely on You instead.

Written by Gab Martin

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