When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? – Matt. 19:25 KJV
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The scripture today is the expression of frustration by the disciples of Jesus Christ who although may have been hearing many sermons about the kingdom of God and salvation but probably at this point could not help but express their frustration.
This particular chapter had opened with the Pharisees seeking clarification on the law concerning divorce with Jesus answering that they could not divorce their wives once they married. This probably did not go down well with some of the disciples who after trying to remind him of the directive of Moses with regards to that and not getting a possibly expected response frustratingly told him it was better not to marry. Even with that Jesus still made it clear to them that it was not a choice that all people can make.
Just when they were getting over that, Jesus in response to the enquiry about what to do to make heaven implied that one with wealth in this world may not make heaven and at this stage, they could hardly bear it again, and of course in addition to these is the seeming suggestion that only little children will make heaven. That led to the statement which forms the scripture for today’ devotion.
Why will they be seemingly frustrated by these responses? They probably saw themselves in those situations. Some of them may have been contemplating divorce and this statement by Jesus truncates that plan. Some of them may actually be rich and they cannot imagine leaving all the wealth because they want to go to heaven.
Christians today also find themselves in such situations where their carnal desires conflict seriously with spiritual demands that can enhance their Christian life and sustain their match into God’s kingdom. Teachings and sermons that can have positive effect on our lives can be difficult to accept most times. As human beings we need to meet the demands of the flesh. Some of these demands are habits formed over time, some are very key for day-to-day survival whilst some are desires and goals that are believed to position one better among family members and friends.
There is no doubt that we cannot live in the world and deny our being interested acquiring some of these earthly possessions and some people out of grace of God and hard work have been able to acquire some of these possessions that has brought them fame and honour. However they should not be sufficient reason to avoid salvation messages or separate us from God. The disciples at this time could not contemplate how they would have to deny themselves of all these possessions because they wanted to go to heaven and so had to express their frustration.
The consolation is in the response of Jesus Christ verse 26 of the same chapter of Mathew which is below:
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26 KJV
Jesus said with God all things are possible. The points listed by Jesus Christ in his responses, as valid as they are should still not be the reason for your not making heaven. Your having or not having money, your divorcing or not divorcing, your having or not having children or any other worldly acquisitions should not be sufficient in determining your direction after death.
All of these will definitely have an effect on how you live your life here on earth with a possible implication on how you live in heaven, if you make it there in the first place but none of these acquisitions will give an assurance of being heaven bound. Christians need to understand that emphasis on these acquisitions could actually be the obstacle if not properly handled and which is what Christ is referencing here.
The challenge most people have is the management of all these worldly acquisitions vis-a-vis their Christian life. There is a wisdom required to manage all these especially when an individual possesses so much of most of them in the environment of those who lack most of them. There will be the need to seek wisdom to manage it. This is what Christ meant when he made the statement above. Christ is definitely not against any of these possessions as he or people close to him had them and their relationship was not affected. He just wants you to ask for wisdom from God who gives it to be applied in managing them.
Do not let your earthly position or acquisition scare you from accepting an assured way to comfortable life after this life. God it is that created all those things and His children are not exempted from having them. Get close to God even with those possessions. Use those possessions to help your salvation journey and to do this, you need wisdom. It may seem like the threading of a camel through the eye of a needle but God is able to do all things. Move close to God, know Him better, ask Him for wisdom and you are sure to have not only earthly treasures but even treasures in heaven and your earthly treasure will not lead you away from heaven.
I pray that the God of all possibilities will grant you wisdom to manage earthly possessions in a manner that will enhance your spirituality and godliness in Jesus name. Amen.