Who then can be saved?
It seems impossible, doesn’t it? Jesus paints a rather clear picture for His disciples, and it seems like a cruel impossibility. Obviously a camel cannot pass through the eye of a needle, even when the needle He's talking about may have been the narrow gateway into Jerusalem! How in the world are any of us supposed to make it into Heaven?
When Jesus says that it will be hard for the rich to enter His kingdom, he’s not talking about the total sum of our bank accounts. He’s talking about the riches that we cling to, white-knuckled, unwilling to set aside in order to grasp His hand reaching out in invitation. He’s talking about what takes up the most space in our hearts. That will be the greatest stumbling block, making it difficult for us to attain Heaven.
What is it in our hearts that is taking up the space He should be filling? Is it a disordered love for material things? Desire for praise or recognition? Do we insist on following our every whim and desire, disregarding our obligations? If something other than God commands the most space in our hearts, then we are impeding the possibility of true and deep intimacy with the Lord.
If Jesus is warning us of the dangers of being like the rich man, what kind of poverty is He calling us to? He calls us to Christian poverty, which is complete and total dependence on Him Who is capable to doing all things, like leading a sinner like me towards the gates of Heaven.
Let's pray for a larger heart, more love, and more space for God in our lives.
Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.