CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
I surrender myself to You today, Holy God.
Read Luke 18:18–30
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
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.’[a]”
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.”
a Luke 18:20 Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectReflect quietly: “All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at His feet I bow, worldly pleasures all forsaken; take me, Jesus, take me now.” (Judson W Van de Venter, 1896.)
The wealthy man wanted to buy a ticket to God’s kingdom. (Inheriting “eternal life” in verse 18 means to get a place in God’s kingdom. See Jesus’ reply in verses 24 and 25.) But he found that the price was just too high (22, 23).
An invitation to God’s kingdom party always has a PS: “Don’t bring anything with you.” The technical term is “repent,” and it is the only way to enter God’s kingdom (Mark 1:15). Turn from what you thought was the good life if you want to fully enter the God-life. In this case, turn from wealth-accumulation to wealth-distribution (22).
The disciples’ amazement (26) at Jesus’ demand is met by a word of hope: God can change the hearts of even wealthy people (27) (think of Zacchaeus in the next chapter, 19:8, 9). Peter is keen to let Jesus know how great a sacrifice he has made (28), but Jesus encourages him to see that by entering God’s kingdom family he has gained more than he has lost (29, 30a; see Acts 2:44, 45).
What has Jesus called you to leave behind to enter His kingdom? If there is anything that is hard to walk away from, pray and ask for God to do the “impossible” (27) and change your heart.
Jesus, sometimes I remember what I have left behind to follow You. Become so dear to me that everything else fades in comparison.