Showcase: Discipleship

  • Discipleship by Dallas Willard +

    Dallas Willard is one of the best thinkers and writers in the world today; it is a blessing to Christ's Read More
  • Living as a Disciple by Dallas Willard +

    How Does the Disciple Live? An older talk, now published in the Spring 2009 issue of Radix magazine, Vol. 34:3. Read More
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Don  Carson

http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/genesis/20.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/matthew/19.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/nehemiah/9.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/acts/19.html

AFTER JESUS' INTERVIEW with the rich young man, he says to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matt. 19:23-24). The disciples, we are told, "were greatly astonished." They exclaimed. "Who then can be saved?" (19:25).

Their question betrays a great deal. It is as if the disciples thought that if anyone could be saved, it would surely be the kind of moral, upright, and frankly wealthy young man who had just turned away from Jesus in some sadness. If even he could not be saved, then who in the world could be? Perhaps they thought that his wealth showed him to be blessed by God, while his publicly upright character confirmed their judgment.

Thus they betray how poorly they understood Jesus' pronouncement. His point was that wealth easily becomes a surrogate god. It is extraordinarily difficult for a person who is attached to riches, not least riches that he or she has accumulated and therefore feels proud about, to approach God as a child might approach (19:13-15), and simply ask for help and receive grace. The disciples look on these things precisely the wrong way. Possessions are blessings, they reason, and come from God. If a person enjoys possessions, those blessings must find their origin in God. So, surely a person with many blessings has a greater likelihood of being saved than others who can boast of fewer blessings.

Jesus does not argue the toss. If at this point he were to talk about the greater or lesser likelihood of someone being saved, he would be supporting the legitimacy of their question, which is in fact singularly ill conceived. That is simply not the way to look at the matter. Take the group that the disciples think are closest to the kingdom: Shall they be saved? "With man this is impossible," Jesus insists (19:26). And that means, of course, that from the disciple's perspective, if the most fortunate can't get in, then no one can get it. That's the point: "With man this is impossible."

Yet this impossibility can be reversed, for we serve a God who does many things that we humans cannot possibly do. Who shall be saved? "With God all things are possible" (19:26). That is where our hope lies: with a God who takes the most unlikely subjects, rich and poor alike, and writes his law on their hearts. Apart from God's intervening grace, there is no hope for any of us.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Christ the King Sunday by Art Going (Holy Trinity Chatham) +

    A thoughtful discussion of how we function as colonizers for Christ the King.  Read More
  • Trinity and Baptisms-David Hyman, Holy Trinity Chatham +

    An excellent discussion of what baptism is about, and the wonderful mystery of the Trinity.  Read More
  • Praying to the Father-David Hyman, Holy Trinity Chatham +

    What does it mean to pray to our Father? Read More
  • Success by David Hyman, Holy Trinity Chatham +

    As followers of Jesus, how should we measure success? Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • God's Healing Touch by Sylvia Gunter +

    Listen to God's word for you in Isaiah 42:3. "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick Read More
  • The Healing Day by Bill Fay +

    It will be okay on the healing dayno more coldest placeon the healing day Read More
  • Inner Healing by Judith MacNutt +

    The following is a clip from a teaching at the MacNutt's Level I School. While brief, it provides a good Read More
  • Healing Ministry & Spiritual Warfare by Judith MacNutt +

    Judith MacNutt on the relationship between spiritual warfare and healing ministry. Read More
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