Matthew 19

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“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24 NKJV).

January 29, 2017

After a rich young ruler came to Jesus asking what good thing he must do to have eternal life, the Lord told him to sell his possessions, give them to the poor and come follow Him. But the young man went away sorrowful, for he was very wealthy. As the rich young ruler walked away, Jesus told His disciples that it was hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom. He then used a greater to lesser hyperbole to illustrate the problem. The camel represents the rich man, oversized and burdened with a load, while the eye of a needle represents the narrow gate that leads to the kingdom of God. Some have suggested that the “eye of the needle” referred to the small, narrow door within a city gate used for foot passengers, which even a man would need to bow low to enter. However, the metaphor still holds true. A large camel cannot enter through a small door nor a needle’s eye. It would need to shrink to enter either.

Riches have a way of owning us, rather than us owning them. To rely on worldly wealth, rather than God’s provision is idolatry. The rich young ruler who claimed to be a keeper of the commandments had actually failed to keep the first, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (Matthew 19:14)

January 29, 2014

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat children. If they are patient and fun with little ones, it reveals something about their heart. If they are nervous and frustrated, this too shows. Jesus loved little children. He always made time for them. I’ve observed that most people who come to Christ, do so before adulthood. The older we get, the more our hearts harden. Yet, it’s never too late to see Jesus with childlike eyes and receive Him with a childlike faith.

“Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended'” (Matthew 19:8)

January 28, 2012

National statistics show that Christians are now just as likely to be divorced as non-believers. This shows the disconnect between our faith and our faithfulness. Should Christians suffer from “hardened hearts?” (As it turns out, this statistic was reported in error. Recent book by Shaunti Feldhahn, “Good News About Marriage”)

“But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:30)

January 29, 2011

This world’s appraisal of greatness is based on outward things- good looks, possessions, and money. But the Kingdom will judge greatness by inner things. The Kingdom will turn us inside out and upside down. We may be in for a surprise as to who is first.