Mark 10:17-31 (also in Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 18:18-30)
As he was starting out on a trip, a man came running to him and knelt down and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get to heaven?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good! But as for your question—you know the commandments: don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, respect your father and mother.”
“Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve never once broken a single one of those laws.”
Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. “You lack only one thing,” he told him; “go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor—and you shall have treasure in heaven—and come, follow me.”
Then the man’s face fell, and he went sadly away, for he was very rich.
Jesus watched him go, then turned around and said to his disciples, “It’s almost impossible for the rich to get into the Kingdom of God!”
This amazed them. So Jesus said it again: “Dear children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the Kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”
The disciples were incredulous! “Then who in the world can be saved, if not a rich man?” they asked.
Jesus looked at them intently, then said, “Without God, it is utterly impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Then Peter began to mention all that he and the other disciples had left behind. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.
And Jesus replied, “Let me assure you that no one has ever given up anything—home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or property—for love of me and to tell others the Good News, who won’t be given back, a hundred times over, homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—with persecutions!
“All these will be his here on earth, and in the world to come he shall have eternal life. But many people who seem to be important now will be the least important then; and many who are considered least here shall be greatest there.” Jesus does not ask that all believers sell everything they have. However, because money represents power, authority, and success, often it is difficult for wealthy people to realize their need and their powerlessness to save themselves. The rich in talent or intelligence suffer the same difficulty. The person who has everything on earth can still lack what is most important—eternal life.
Peter and the other disciples had paid a high price—leaving their homes and jobs—to follow Jesus. But Jesus reminded Peter that following him has its benefits as well as its sacrifices. Any believer who has had to give up something to follow Christ will be paid back in this life as well as in the next. For example, if you must give up a secure job, you will find that God offers a secure relationship with himself now and forever. If you must give up your family’s approval, you will gain the love of the family of God. The disciples had begun to pay the price of following Jesus, and Jesus said they would be rewarded. Don’t dwell on what you have given up; think about what you have gained, and give thanks for it. You can never out give God.
– In Christ,