Someone came to Jesus with this question:
“Teacher, what good things must I do to have eternal life?”
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments.“
“Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went sadly away because he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. I say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you that when I, the Son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life. But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then.”
There are many important revelations of the nature of God in this passage. I especially have been interested by the blunt manner in which Jesus answered the man’s questions and then did not pursue and try to persuade, though He loved him. But one angle in particular hasn’t been dealt with as much as others.
Jesus is exposing the affectations that religious perceptions can produce. “What good thing must I do?… I’ve done that, what else?” Jesus’ answer made that man go away sad.
Peter, following his religious perception says, “We’ve given up everything… what will we get?” Jesus answers, “You’ll get all that and much more in return, but your perception of how important you are is out of whack!“
Our country’s market-oriented economy has become based on how important the product makes you feel, rather than the actual value the product adds to your life and work. Actual value has taken a back seat to perceived effect on my quest for self-realization.
The specific enemy of Christian faith is not Islam or any other religion developed by man in history. All man-made religions reflect their real mother, the original alternative, right from the Garden deception – Personal Sovereignty. If you want followers, you only have to promise personal independence and control. If you want to sell a product, you only have to suggest self-promotion or self-improvement.
There are only two religions in the world, devotion to our Creator and the alternative suggested by His enemy, posing as the angel of light. Every supposed “enlightenment” outside the Word of God, made flesh and walking among us, is darkness and deadly sucker bait. Satan, is the biblical word for that deceived persuasion. A system of delusion pieced together from parts of truth mixed with self-worship.
So, if we want to warm our hands, satisfy our “felt-needs”, be enlightened by the fires of market-oriented religion (name it whatever you like), the warmth we receive from it will be soon replaced with the icy words of Jesus when we stand before Him. All our self-generated blankies will disappear like the Emperor’s new clothes in the light of eternal reality.
Simple. Too simple really, for us to take any credit for. Don’t try to be “better,” be reconciled to God. That is possible only by identification with THE ONE HE SENT, His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, Yeshuah, the Messiah of God. He has redeemed you! Get reconciled to that! In our natures, there is nothing from which to draw that kind of purity. Look to the Cross. There’s the proof. He did for us what we can not do for ourselves.
Now, the question is: Will you have the courage to act out that redemption? As He brings aspects of your nature into His light, will you allow His Nature to overrule? to consume it in the fire of His holyness? He doesn’t bring it up unless He means to redeem and replace it with the original version.
Go for it! All of Heaven is cheering you on.