Jesus talks about a camel going through the eye of a needle. Today, we might say instead, “when pigs fly.” Two impossible things and yet, according to Jesus, more likely to happen than a rich person getting into God’s kingdom. What does Jesus have against the rich anyway?
I wonder perhaps if it’s not so much the wealth itself, but the mindset behind the ruler’s question. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” he asks.
The answer, of course, is nothing. There’s absolutely nothing he can do. Eternal life is a gift. It cannot be earned; only received in faith.
This can be a tricky mindset for us to overcome given we live in a culture that tells us “You are what you do” and “Your value is in what you have.” Jesus calls us to let go of this mindset and to embrace that “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.” (verse 27) Eternal life is taken care of. All we can do is live our lives in gratitude for this wonderful gift.
Holy God, thank you for your gift of eternal life. May my whole life be a lived response of thanksgiving for your unending love and grace. Amen. — LS