The Teaching of the King Matthew 16:13-20:34, cont’d.
Matthew 19:16-30-The Decision to Choose Kingdom
Matthew 19:16-26-A man asks Jesus what good thing (work, deed) he has to do to obtain eternal life. There were some Jews that felt that there could be one, singular act that would qualify them for Heaven. Jesus responds with the part of the Law that speaks of our relationships to one another…plus, He adds “love your neighbor as yourself.” The man says he has done all of these…it couldn’t be that simple…what else must he do? Jesus knows his heart…it is full of greed…so He tells him to sell all that he owns and give the proceeds to the poor. This takes the idea of relating to other people beyond just not doing bad to them…but doing good for them. The man refused to do this, and left. Jesus remarked that it is extremely hard for a rich man to have the right perspective between people and possessions…to value people above possessions. It’s so hard that it would be easier to squeeze a man through the eye of a sewing needle…than for a rich man to give up all of his possessions for the poor. This requires God’s help (:26).
Matthew 19:27-39-The Rewards of the Kingdom
Matthew 19:27-28-Peter says that they have left everything for Him. Jesus says that in Heaven (“the regeneration”…it is clear this is the topic of Jesus’ teaching here because it continues in 20:1-“For the kingdom of heaven is like…”)…“you shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” In other words, when you realize what Heaven is going to be like…the things that are given up in this earthly life pale in comparison into insignificance.
Matthew 19:29-Jesus says that we must see the things of our life on earth in light of what we will receive in Heaven. Perhaps the greatest possession of all will be the fact that we are in Heaven (“eternal life”)!
Prayer: Lord, please help me to see the right value of the things that I possess…and don’t ever let me value them above people. Give me an eternal view of my earthly existence.