The Grace of Jesus Can Do It!

"For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:25).

When a rich ruler asked Jesus about obtaining eternal life, Jesus pointed him back to the decalogue, particularly the 5th through 9th commandments (Luke 15:18-20). And when he calmly claims to have kept all these since childhood (v.21).

Jesus put his finger on his real problem. "Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me" (v.22). This challenge completely caught the rich ruler by surprise. "And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich" (v.23).

This moral, educated, disciplined man faltered at the point of the 10th commandment against coveting. He was holding onto his own possessions at the expense of following the Master. Jesus knew that this wealthy professional was really more interested in maintaining a comfortable and respectable lifestyle than in receiving salvation.

It was then that Jesus made the extraordinary statement that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the tiny hole of a sewing needle than for a rich man to get saved (v.25). This stunned the disciples, since they equated wealth with God's blessings. "Who then can be saved?" (v.26). Jesus declares that only God can convert the wealthy. "And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God" (v.27).

Once money and material things are attained, an affection for them and dependence on them can become humanly unbreakable. Only God is able to overpower the green-eyed monster of covetousness. Like a drug, wealth is very addicting. Like liquor, it is also very intoxicating. Like weights to a drowning man, the more they hold, the faster they sink.

Those who focus on the Law of Moses will never break free. But those who depend on the mighty grace of Jesus will be made rich in Christ. "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1)16-17).