The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Sarah Harris. 

Luke 18:18-30

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"

21 "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

26 Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"

27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."

28 Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

29 "Truly I tell you," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life."

Reflection

The man that Jesus speaks to here has done so much right - he has kept all the commandments Jesus mentions to him since his childhood, which is pretty impressive! But it's not enough. It can be very painful to hear that trying your very best and doing what you think is a really good job isn't enough.

There are a few ways you could react to hearing news like that. Firstly, you could get angry, digging in your heels and declaring that you do enough already. You could decide to simply ignore it, simply carrying on as you are. But you could also listen. Looking at yourself in this way can be a bit uncomfortable, but by making a change and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, your eyes might be opened to all kinds of things that you've never seen or experienced. If you're staying in your comfortable life, doing just enough to stave off any feelings of guilt, are you really experiencing the fullness of life? Getting too comfortable, especially when surrounded by all the material things we could possibly want or need, can dull us to the brilliance and excitement that life can offer.

Consider if God might be asking you to do to break out of your current comfort zone. He may not be telling you to "sell everything you have and give to the poor" (v22), but there might be something He's challenging you to do to walk more closely with Him and help bring about His kingdom.

We don't earn God's love by helping others, sacrificing things or by any other means, but by partnering with him and walking closely with him, our lives can be so enriched and we can catch some incredible glimpses of Heaven.

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