Matthew 19:23-26 TPT
23 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “Listen. Do you understand how difficult it is for the rich to enter into heaven’s kingdom realm? 24 In fact, it’s easier to stuff a heavy rope [Gamla] through the eye of a needle than it is for the wealthy to enter into God’s kingdom realm!”
25 Stunned and bewildered, his disciples asked, “Then who in the world can possibly be saved?”
26 Looking straight into their eyes, Jesus replied, “Humanly speaking, no one, because no one can save himself. But what seems impossible to you is never impossible to God!”
In our passage today, Jesus has just finished talking to the rich young man and answering his question, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus tells him, “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments…love your neighbor as yourself” (Mat. 19:16-21). This young man tells Jesus he has done all these things throughout his life, but truly Jesus helps him see that an eternal relationship with God must have a new starting point—an encounter with Jesus—that is followed by a changed perspective and obedient actions. No amount of money or good deeds can substitute the responsibility of humanity to submit every aspect of one’s life to the Lord. When we make Jesus Lord, we give him the right to direct our life paths, how we love and treat others made in God’s image, and how we use our time, talent, and treasures in a way that pleases God. Essentially, we place the Lord in the driver’s seat of our lives.
Many translations interpret verse 24 using the word “camel.” Yet in Aramaic the word (Gamla) is a homonym that can actually be translated “camel or rope.” No matter how it is translated, we get the message that Jesus is proclaiming. It is impossible to save ourselves. We know we cannot buy or push our sinful way (heavy rope) into the righteous (narrow) Kingdom, only God can open the Kingdom realm to us. We must enter the Kingdom through the narrow Gate; the Gate to the Kingdom is Jesus (John 10:7). If you have never invited Jesus into your heart, you need to do so, today, because he is the only Way to have eternal life with God in the Kingdom realm. You can have a form of religion without making Jesus Lord, but you cannot experience eternal life in the presence and care of God, know the heart of true Love, have fellowship with Truth, or flow in the righteous power of the Spirit apart from Jesus. Once Jesus enters our hearts, he provides a new starting point in life and we begin to see a life of worship (oneness) unveiled before us that Creator God designed for his children from the beginning of time. This is the relationship God had in mind for humanity. And, it gets better; the Spirit comes to be a companion and helper so we can live for the glory of God as we enjoy continual fellowship with him. It is the work of Christ on the cross and the work of the Spirit in human hearts that makes all the difference in where we fit!
Prayer: Lord, the enemy is always busy trying to tempt humanity to “fit” into the world. Thank you Jesus for the new beginning you brought me years ago and how you open every day with opportunities to follow and emulate you. Continue to mold me and shape me to fit your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.