But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:16-26
Found in three of the gospels, the “Story of the Rich Young Ruler” reminds us that complete dependence on God opens our hearts to eternal life. The young ruler owns much property, follows the holy commandments, but realizing there is more, asks what he must do to “obtain eternal life”. Jesus tells him that he must sell all his possessions and give them to the poor, then “Come, follow Me”. The young ruler went away sad for he was very wealthy.
Jesus teaches the disciples that greed can be a “hindrance to embracing the gospel”. False security of wealth can create self reliance, while dependence on God grows faith. At this time, religious culture believes that wealth and success implies God’s favor. In this context, the disciples wonder if the wealthy could not have eternal life, then who?
A self-reliant person shuns dependency. An intellectual ridicules childlike faith. But salvation is impossible to achieve on our own; it requires a humble cry to God for help. What is impossible for us is possible with God—on His terms. -Blackaby
Truthfully, God does not favor any one person or group of people; all individuals stand equal before Him. Jesus’ words make it clear that salvation is impossible with people - not with good deeds or by following the rules or being a kind person. Only by being willing to give up everything, to lay down one’s own agenda, to give priority to God’s plan will we find ourselves spiritually dependent upon God. Grace is possible only though Christ, the Red-Letter Promise of a God who can do all things! - dho
**Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:21-26, Luke 18:24-30. (The Rich Young Ruler)