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The account of the rich young ruler may be one that many of us are familiar with and have read many times. Here is a man who has kept the Ten Commandments since youth and has a deep desire to follow Jesus but Jesus can see into this young man’s heart. Jesus knew that there was one thing that this young man held onto more than his desire to follow Him and that was his possessions. You see this young man had been blessed materially and that blessing was something that he could not let go of. We know from the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus states that we must “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) Jesus looked on this young man with love because He knew the depths of his heart that loving Him with all he had and letting go of the things of this world would be next to impossible for this young man.

Jesus tells his disciples that it is difficult for anyone who has riches and places their trust in those riches to enter the Kingdom of God. He goes on to state that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom. In our minds we think of the eye of a sewing needle and that would be impossible but tradition states that there was a gate in the wall of Jerusalem called the eye of the needle. It is believed that at night after the main gates of the city where closed that if a caravan came trying to enter the city there was only this one gate available to go through. The problem was that it was big enough for a man to walk through not a camel laden with goods. For the camel to get through this gate all of its burden would need to be left outside and the camel would have to crawl through the gate unencumbered to get into the city. This is a powerful illustration that Jesus is using, for what must we lay aside to enter the Kingdom of God?

The disciples go onto to say that then it must be impossible for anyone to enter the Kingdom of God and then Jesus makes a very profound statement, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” (v.27) Whatever it is that God is asking you to lay aside to fully embrace His Kingdom, you may be thinking it is not possible for you to do and guess what you’d be right. Read that statement from Jesus again. For man that answer is “No way “but with God the answer is always “Yes”. You know what the great part of this letting go and embracing the Kingdom of God is that whatever God is asking us to lay aside He is going to give back to us a hundredfold (v.30). Amazing, right? We don’t lose anything when we lay aside what God asks for us to follow Him with our whole hearts. We will need to give up all the baggage to crawl through the eye of the needle but God is going to repay that back more than we can ask or imagine. We may not see it in the here and now but Jesus is preparing a place for you and me, all it requires is our obedience. You see my friends, nothing is impossible for God, may He help us to lay aside our unbelief and follow Him.

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