2 men are praying in the temple:
1) A Pharisee – “God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.”
2) The tax collector – “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”
Which one do you think was justified by God?
The tax collector! “…for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus tells us to come to Him as humble as little children. “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Then a rich man asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life and Jesus tells him to keep the commandments: “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Well the rich man is feeling pretty good about himself and his deeds; so he tells Jesus that he already does all that. However, Jesus knows that he is still clinging to this world. So Jesus says, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Then the rich man leaves sorrowful for he did not want to give up his great possessions.
Jesus says, ”Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 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.”
So the disciples begin questioning who can be saved. Jesus responds, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
Peter tells Jesus that the disciples have left all to follow Him. And bc of that, Jesus says “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
To follow Jesus, one must hold loosely to everything else in this world. Keep reading.
(We looked at Jesus’s teaching on divorce from today’s reading in the June 4th post.)
(Luke 18:9-14, Mark 10:1-12, Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:13-16, Matthew 19:13-15, Luke 18:15-17, Mark 10:17-31, Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 18:18-30)