Dr. Luke continues to recount the principles that Jesus taught while He was wrapping up His ministry on earth. It remained important to Luke for those that read his account to see as many sides of the Lord as was possible. In this account, Luke looked at how Jesus felt about children and childlike faith. Parents were bringing their children to meet Jesus, and have the Lord bless them. What a nice change for Jesus–pouring out blessings to the young. The disciples, however, saw it as a bother, taking Jesus from the important duties. Jesus called the kids to him and told the disciples not to interfere. Jesus saw the children and their faith as pure and undamaged by life. He wanted all to understand that it was that pure and complete faith of children that pleased God most. It was a picture of the relationship God longed to have with His chosen.
Next, Jesus was asked what it really took to receive eternal life. The man that asked was very wealthy. Jesus said that he should follow the law and prophets. The man smugly said he had done that all his life. Then Jesus dropped the bombshell–“Sell your stuff, give the proceeds to the poor, and then come and follow Me.” The man became sad. Jesus then told the group that it is very difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
God told Israel at Mount Sinai that They must have no other God before Him. Sadly, time has revealed repeatedly that money and wealth are some of the most difficult gods to release. They give the illusion of independence and control. They make one feel safe and unstoppable. Jesus knew and showed us that those feelings were not real and were as temporal as a morning fog.
Wealth is never satisfying, and unless its owner is willing to lay it at the Lord’s feet, it will take the Lordship of their lives. Jesus was simply stating that to have eternal life, we must lay whatever controls us at his feet. Wealth, power, relationship, family, career, or anything that we consider our ticket to independence or control must be laid at God’s alter.
Fear not, however, as He told the disciples, whatever we lay at God’s feet, He will restore exponentially back to us. He is a loving Father that only wants us to enjoy peace and freedom. That peace and freedom comes from trusting and following Him. It has been the same since the beginning and will remain so until His return.
God Bless You
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]”
21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”