Tuesday, June 16, 2015

All things are possible

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”

27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”   Mark 10:23-31

Jesus had some interesting conversations with his disciples.  For a group of followers who apparently didn't have much in the way of money, Jesus questioned them about their ideas on rich people entering the kingdom of God. Jesus was wanting to show them the person whose trust is in riches will have a difficult time entering God's kingdom. Their astonished conversation brought them to ask, "The who can be saved?"

Then came the point Jesus wanted to share with his disciples, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."  Still stuck on the subject of riches, Peter reminded Jesus how much they had given up when they started following him.

Then the promise.  Jesus told them everything they had given up to follow him would be restored, times one hundred!  Plus, they will receive eternal life!  But there seems to be a catch.....

Jesus' promise gave them a hundred fold, everything they had given up, but he also said these blessings restored would be accompanied with persecution.  Even Paul in his later writings mentioned belonging to the Lord included sharing in his suffering and loss and persecution.

As for you and me, we may find it somewhat painful to give up things to follow Jesus, but that comes with the promise of multiplied restoration of the things we have given up, and the possibility of persecutions.

Really following Jesus and being his disciple is the key. In spite of giving up things, or even in spite of persecutions, we still belong to him and claim his promise to be with us always. 


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