Am I the only one that gets a little anxious when reading Luke 18:18-30? There is something about verse 23 that scares the snot out of me. As I ponder the reasons why that may be the case, I am confronted with a stark reality.
In reality, I am just like the rich young ruler (I’m speaking more about my heart than my bank account). That is to say that when God asks me to give something up in order to better serve him, I leave in sorrow, just as the rich young ruler did. Sometimes, I just don’t want to give up what I want! It doesn’t matter what you call it; ambition, wealth, money, possessions, or fortune. At the end of the day, these things entangle our hearts. In this case, the rich young ruler chooses death. I really do not want to choose the same!
So what are we to do? Is there no hope? Are we doomed to live as slaves to our passions and ambitions, replaying this scenario over and over again? Thankfully, the disciples were onto this same question. It appears that they are just as freaked out as I am when they ask, “in astonishment, who can be saved?” (v26). I can hear the desperation in the question. They sense the impending doom. Thankfully, Jesus settles it with his gentle reminder, “with man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” When we focus on him, nothing else matters.
Father, remember us as you have remembered those before us. Even though we turn away and forsake your goodness, you are great in mercies. You did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. (Nehemiah 9:31 ESV)