Matthew 19:23-30 With God All Things Are Possible.

Matthew 19:23-30 With God All Things Are Possible.

It has been suggested by some that the eye of a needle was a gateway coming into a city where a camel had to bow down to get through. However, there appears to be no actual proof of this. It can be taken at face value that Jesus is using hyperbole to make his point that it is impossible for a rich man, by himself to enter the kingdom of God (vv. 23-24). The response from the disciples is peculiar. It could be that they considered wealth to be a sign of God’s acceptance and approval. Or they may have thought that somehow the rich could buy their way into the kingdom. In either case, the point is it is not possible for any person to earn or buy their way in, “but with God all things are possible” (vv. 25-26 Cf. Jer. 32:17).

In the previous passage, the young man walked away sorrowful because Jesus in effect asked him to repent of his covetousness and the trust he had put in his riches (v. 22). The 10th commandment is the downfall of all. Peter replies that they had left all to follow him. Therefore what would they have (v. 27 Cf. Dt. 33:9)? It should not be lost that this commitment on the part of the disciples was because of the God who made this possible, and though they had left all to follow Jesus, they would be blessed with rule and riches (v. 29 Cf. Mk. 10:29-30). The “regeneration” appears to be when Jesus would ascend, since it would be “when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory” (v. 28 Cf. Lk. 22:28-30).

The ultimate prize for those destined to reign in the kingdom with Jesus is the promise of eternal life. This is achieved not by one’s keeping of the commandments, which is impossible apart from God (vv. 16-22). Riches also are no sign or guarantee of the possession of this life, nor can it be bought. It is made possible by being a free gift of God. Those who think they should be first will be last (v. 30 Cf. Lk. 13:30). “Positions of honor or prestige in this life by no means assure heavenly approval; indeed, often the reverse will be true. Similarly, as the following parable illustrates (20:1-16), length of earthly labor may not correspond to one’s heavenly reward” (NGSB 1538).

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