Our biggest battle is the battle against the sin of self-exaltation. In fact, Satan knows this very well because it is what he used to tempt Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, “You will become like God”. We usually want to be praised and exalted by others that is why we put our trusts and hopes in anything, especially money. Because of the want for self-exaltation, we tend to set up so many idols in our lives— the idols where we put our dependence on and our hopes to.
However, nothing can beat the dependence we put in our money. When we see that we are earning so much or that we can buy anything, we already feel invincible and we are very dependent on it instead of being dependent on God. We spend our money on things that can make us happy and satisfied or save it in our bank accounts so we will feel secured and trust it more than we trust God. Money becomes like drugs to us, the more dosage we have, the more we become happy and satisfied but we will desire more and more dosage to be satisfied.
The reflection verse today talks about nothing is impossible with God but the whole context talks about the Rich Young Ruler who asked Jesus how to acquire eternal life. From the moment he asked how he can get eternal life, it was already a wrong one. That is also the reason why Jesus’ answers were very objective and about the 10 commandments.
After hearing Jesus’ answer, he confirmed that he did everything already but Jesus told him that he still lacks one thing and that is to sell all his possessions and give it to the poor and follow Jesus. After this answer, the Bible stated that the Rich Young Ruler felt very sad because he was too rich. Why do you think that Luke really wrote it like this?
This is because the Rich Young Ruler already knows what he will choose. Again, money is like drugs and people who tend to put their hope in it will not be able to give it up just like the Rich young ruler. He became very sad because he knows that he will never be able to stop worshipping his wealth.
What he felt was too opposite with what we usually feel when we have money but it is what he felt because he knows exactly what he was choosing. He knows that instead of following Jesus and gaining eternal life, he will choose the earthly wealth. The rich young ruler is like us because we tend to put our hope into wrong things, instead of our God.
When we have everything we wanted, we tend to steer away from the path God has chosen for us and become independent of Him and become dependent on these earthly things. We have set up so many idols and chose to worship them instead of directing our praises to God where everything all came from. When Jesus answered that it is very impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, He practically was saying that because of their wealth, they tend to think practical and thought that they can do everything on their own.
The Bible said that we cannot serve two masters at the same time, so basically the rich man knows exactly his choice. He knows exactly which master he is going to serve. So Jesus wants to use this as an example for us and a reality-check. He wants us to understand that as long as we are worshipping our idols and cannot stop putting our hopes on these earthly things, we can never acquire eternal life.
As long as our mindset is that we can acquire it through our good works, we can never have eternal life. So, going back to the story, after Jesus answered the question, the people who heard all of this questioned Him again about who can then enter the kingdom of heaven. This time, Jesus answered a very sweet answer and a very nice reminder!
Jesus told them that with God everything is possible. Somewhat, it is a very difficult answer to understand because reading it at first will really confuse you. However, these are the words that can really comfort us. When Jesus said that it is impossible for the rich young ruler to enter the kingdom of heaven and people also asked who can enter the kingdom because they knew that they can never do all what Jesus mentioned, it is very connected to the final answer of Jesus. Since it is impossible for men to enter the kingdom of heaven, nothing impossible to God.
Therefore, with men’s strength and will alone, we can never enter and gain eternal life because even the rich man cannot let go of his idol and Jesus knows that everyone of us have our own idols. However, in God’s will and strength, we enter and acquire eternal life. It may be a repeating news for you, but always remember that we can only be saved through Jesus and we can never do anything for ourselves.
We are saved through grace only, not because of our works or doing everything in the ten commandments because as Paul said in Galatians that breaking one of the commandments is guilty of breaking all of them. So, always remember that it will really be impossible for us to gain eternal life because we are always putting our hope into other things, so only through the sacrifice of Jesus we can be saved.
We can gain eternal life through believing in Jesus Christ and as we truly believe in Him, we can be a new creation and with that we will be able to direct our praises, glory, thanksgiving, hopes to the living God who rightfully deserves it.
So hopefully, we will not be like the rich young ruler who solely depends on his money and self but we should be a new creation having full dependence on Jesus who is pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
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