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Pastor’s Column 6/2/2024


“The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.  Jesus looked at them intensely and said, “Humanly speaking it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Peter said, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What shall we get?” “…Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”           Matthew 19:25-27;29-30, NLT                                                                                                                                                    


“Giving and Gaining All”


The disciples were not astonished as much about the super-rich not being in fellowship with God; because they realized that many in this class, were obsessed with material wealth, over spiritual values. The astonishment of the disciples came when Jesus required the wealthy young entrepreneur to liquidate all his assets, and create a charity for the poor. To give up everything tangible, seemed overwhelming to the disciples; and other prospective followers of Jesus. The Lord certainly was aware of their human dilemma. He told them, some decisions we are confronted with in this life, will always seem impossible. They will seem to have no rational basis. But Jesus said, “What is impossible with people, is possible with God.” Less we miss the interpretation of the message inthe Gospel of Matthew, we should understand that Jesus was never against a person achieving wholesome things in life. Jesus was against the accumulation of wealth for self-enrichment only; and, He had disdain for the manipulation of wealth to deprive the poor of adequate resources. Jesus used hyperbole (exaggerated humor), drawing attention to the difficulty of the self-absorbed person entering the Kingdom. He said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a [sewing] needle, than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The statement does not preclude, a person of sizeable material wealth cannot enter the Kingdom; but such a person would encounter great difficulty if thewealth is the sole measure of their character. Jesus assures us, giving all to Himguarantees exceeding blessings in this life; and in eternity!

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