The Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!” — Jesus of Nazareth

I cannot recall how many times I have heard a preacher or teacher of sacred scripture utter the words or at least the sentiment that getting “saved” is easy… it is simply accepting Jesus as one’s personal Lord and Savior? It has to be in the hundreds if not thousands of times! I have always understood such statements as attempts to emphasize that God is the one who does the saving and we simply “receive” what he is offering. I have never had much antagonism towards their intentions—I have almost always assumed they were sincere—but I have often questioned why they feel the need to present “salvation” as something that is easy or something that is simply received.

Jesus over and over and over again calls those who wish to follow him to abandon all competing allegiances other than the one to his kingdom which he exhorts should be sought first of all. His call to repentance is a call to a complete and total transformation of the way one lives their lives; from the thoughts that they entertain, to the concepts of justice they espouse, to the actions that fill their days. Our passage for this Sunday is no different. In no uncertain terms, Jesus says that entering the kingdom of heaven is difficult… in fact, he says for those who possess riches it is impossible.

Thankfully he doesn’t leave it there, he asserts, what all believers know intuitively, that “with God all things are possible”. The question that this presents to us, however, is how this possibility comes about… how is the possibility opened up to those who possess riches? Our text for this week offers one illustration of his answer.

See you on Sunday!




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