Mark 10:17-31

Read Mark 10:17-31
I love to fish with my kids. The problem I have when fishing with my kids is that they have a tendency to break and tangle their lines with relatively little effort. Sometimes it feels like I am spending more time fixing poles than I am actually fishing! Occasionally the tangle is such a mess that I have to cut the line and start over with a new hook which creates a whole other set of problems. You see, I have big hands and hooks are small and lines are tiny (especially on kid’s poles), it’s hard for me to thread line through a tiny eyelet on a fishhook! It’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult.
The illustration we see in our passage states that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for the wealthy to get into heaven, strikes a chord with me, it’s a meaningful word picture Jesus give us. Can you imagine trying to get a camel through the eye of a needle? It’s just not possible.
‘What must I do to inherit eternal life’, the very rich young man asked of Jesus. If you believe that there is something more than this life, then this question makes all the sense in the world. Why wouldn’t this wealthy young man come and ask the “good teacher” what he must do to obtain eternal life?
Jesus brings up the law, the ten commandments, and the young man breathes a sigh of relief because he’s been a good Jew his whole life. He’s kept all the commandments. But gaining eternal life has never been about keeping external rules, it’s about what’s in the heart. Jesus, because he is God, could see into this man’s heart. Wealth kept him from truly following Jesus and the man went away sad. Jesus tells his disciples that it’s hard for the wealthy to truly follow God, but not impossible.
The disciples are dumbfounded at this, because if wealthy people who have the appearance of having it all can’t gain eternal life, then who can? Jesus just shattered the economics of salvation. Jesus speaks honestly; it is difficult for those with worldly possessions to turn to Jesus. But salvation is not about having money or not having money, it’s about giving your heart to Jesus, trusting Him. It’s honestly answering the question, is Jesus better than your possessions? I respect this wealthy young man, because at least he was honest, he went away sad because Jesus was not better than his possessions. Following Jesus with your heart seems impossible to do on our own, because it is. Jesus says ‘with man, it is impossible, but not with God. With God all things are possible’. Only God can truly change hearts. Trust Him for eternal life and you’ll find satisfaction in this present life.
David Flug | Community Life Pastor