Matthew 19:23-29; The Postmortem

After the rich young man went away sad, Jesus told the disciples, first, that it was difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom, then, that it was actually impossible.

Don’t try to rationalize the camel and the eye of the needle to mean anything less than impossibility. It misses the point.

The disciples are astonished with an astonishing astonishment when they hear this saying of Jesus. The young man was a model citizen of whom any parent would be proud. If he can’t enter the kingdom, who can?

Jesus points out that God can do the impossible. In fact, we are all dependent on the majesty and grace of God to enter the kingdom. If it took merit, where would I be?

Peter, speaking for the rest, states that they have left their lives behind to follow Jesus. Jesus responds with language from Psalm 110 and Daniel about the coming renewal and about his glorious throne. The Twelve will serve as judges for Israel, he says.

More generally, all who put their lives behind following Jesus will receive great blessings and even eternal life.

Once again, I must point out that these are difficult teachings, but we must not soft sell them. The road is narrow and steep and the cost is great. There are four kinds of soil, and we tend to spend our efforts planting in soil that yields fast results, but no lasting ones. That has to change.

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