In Mark Chapter 10, verses 17-31, the Bible says that one day, as Jesus was walking along the road, a rich, young man came running up to him. “Good teacher,” the man said, “what must I do to have eternal life?”
“You know the commandments,” Jesus answered. “‘Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not cheat. Honor your father and mother.’”
“I have obeyed those commandments since I was a child” the rich, young man replied.
The Bible says that Jesus looked at the young man and loved him. Then Jesus said to him, “You’re missing only one thing. Sell all you have and give the money to the poor, so that you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” When the young man heard those words, he sadly turned and walked away because he owned many things.
Jesus looked at His disciples and said, “How hard it is for rich people to get into the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were shocked. Jesus continued, “It is very hard to get into 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!”
“Then who in the world can be saved?” the disciples asked.
“With man it is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” Jesus answered.
What a strange thing for Jesus to say about a camel and a needle, but think about it. We all know it would be impossible for the camel to get through such a small hole as is in a needle. In the same way, it may be just as impossible for some people to get to heaven because those people are not willing to share anything they have with others. They are greedy and love their money and things more than God and helping those in need. Evidently, this was the case for the young, rich man in the story. The young man’s love for his possessions and money was greater than his love for God. If we want to enter the Kingdom of God, we must put God first in our lives. By putting God first, we must also be willing to help others, even sharing what we have.
It would be impossible, as well, for any of us to get to heaven without God’s grace. He made it possible for us all to be with Him forever because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We just have to love and have faith in Him. Part of loving Him and following Him is also helping others as needed and not loving things more than Jesus.
Remember, with God all things are possible. We are so lucky that we worship and serve the God of the impossible. Then we just might see that camel go through that eye in the needle -someday!
Let us pray our prayer for this week. Heavenly Father, we are thankful that You are the God of the impossible. Without You, it would be impossible for any of us to get to heaven. Help us to always put You first in our lives and be willing to help those who need our help. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.