Mark 10.23-25 describes, looking at His disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”
Truly one of the most disturbing teachings in all of Scripture for us in 21st century America. Are we really going to be saved? Would any of us give everything we have to the poor and follow Jesus, trusting Him to supply our housing, food, and other necessities?
The rich man believed in God and obeyed His commands. On the outside, this guy was certainly on his way to heaven. The rich man wanted more of God; he truly appeared to be a God lover. He came to Jesus to get more of God, to absolutely ensure his salvation. The rich man was looking for anything else he had to do to be fully pleasing to God. A noble and godly desire.
No doubt this guy would be a leader in our church and probably is! Yet, he missed the kingdom of heaven. Why? He loved something more than God. The first command is required for getting into the kingdom of heaven is it not? Must we only pray a prayer to be saved? Must we only believe to be saved? Must we only attend church and receive it’s sacraments to be saved? Or does God want, demand, something more from us?
Does He really mean that we must love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves before He will give us a free pass through the blood of Jesus into heaven? Certainly, Jesus’ death on the cross pays the penalty for our sins, our only means for being saved, but our love for God first and most verifies before God and men that our sins have been paid.
What would God ask you to surrender to fully follow Him, proving yourself to be His disciple?