How much money would you need to consider yourself rich? One survey of Americans resulted in answers averaging around five millions dollars.
If you make more than $48,000 per year, you are in the top 1% in income compared to the rest of the world! A $24,000 per year income puts you in the top 5%.
There’s a high probability that if you are reading this, 95% of the world has less income than you!
So Jesus’ conversation with the rich, young ruler challenges many Americans, perhaps even causes us to wince! Why? Look what He said:
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 ESV
This verse is often quoted, but rarely in the context in which Jesus spoke it. It is in the context of telling the disciples how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.
A common assumption of the first century and of many today is that the more material possessions one has the more God has blessed them! But Jesus turns that on its head!
Actually, material wealth hinders being saved and kingdom living.
Then, “Who can be saved?” the disciples asked in astonishment! That’s when Jesus gives us the oft quoted line that all things are possible with God.
God certainly does not save you from sin and hell because you are rich, an American, educated, or healthy. In fact, the temptation is to trust in one or more of those things instead of trusting in God.
So can a wealthy man stop trusting in his or her wealth and trust God’s Son to save them? Yes, but it is very difficult! Aren’t you glad Jesus said:
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Our Father, thank-you for making salvation possible through knowing Jesus. Please forgive our pride. We put our trust in Christ alone!