In the scripture, the rich young ruler comes before Jesus asking, “How can I enter the kingdom of God?”. Perhaps he expected a “yes, you’re good,” but instead Jesus asks “How do you know I am good? Only God is good. Do you truly know who I am?” Jesus tells us having eternal life means knowing the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. People think entering the kingdom of God means working to get in, or following rules.
1. The Rich Young Rulers Heart
We can see he’s a good guy by the world’s standard: he has kept all the commandments. However, Jesus tells him that there is one thing left he needs to do: to sell all his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow him. Jesus tells the young ruler there is something he loves more than God. His wealth is his idol. We can see God’s love demonstrated in the scripture. He searches our hearts and reveals our idols to us. We know God, and we are saved but many of us have something else reigning their hearts. We make every excuse to continue to hold on to the things we love for the gospel. You may love the gospel but can you truly give up what you have and cherish the most? However, Jesus doesn’t tell the young man to give up his wealth just to make him poor, but tells him that there are even greater treasures waiting for him in heaven. Let’s ask ourselves: What is holding my heart? Have I made the complete conclusion in truly only Jesus? For many people, their image or the way they’re seen by others is their idol, so they refuse to lose face before other people, but the key to true answers is honesty before God.
2. Correct Understanding of Salvation
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (23-25)
Jesus tells us how impossible it is for us to enter the Kingdom of God, but reminds us that with salvation from God, we are saved. We were marred and stained by sin and curses, and spiritually dead and eternally captive to Satan. However, out of his love, God reincarnated and came in flesh as Jesus to suffer and die for our sins and then resurrect. In doing so, he completely crushed Satan and made a way for us to come before God. Meeting Christ is simply accepting his promises into your life, and coming to the complete conclusion of only Christ. The moment you believed Jesus, God began spiritually healing you through his word. Christian life is not beating ourselves up or being zealous but simply enjoying the gospel. God gives us the strength to abandon everything we love for Christ. This is the mystery the rich man didn’t know.
3. True Reward
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (29-30)
Jesus tells us that if we need to leave our family for the gospel, God will bless our hearts a hundred times more. As Christians, it may seem like we are losing out or that our efforts are fruitless, but Jesus reminds us that nothing is in vain when we live for the Kingdom of God because you will be rewarded both on earth and even more in Heaven. Take courage and remember what we’re living for.
Let’s remember two things. First, let’s think about what we need to throw away. What are we holding on to that blocks us from enjoying the gospel? Lay them down to God. Second, let’s think about the only thing we need to hold on to.
Open my eyes to see the idols that block me from enjoying your gospel. Give me the strength to give up to you all I love. Help me truly meet you and come to the complete conclusion of nothing but only Christ and remember my true reward in Heaven.