“Who then can be saved?" (Luke 18:26)
The answer is simple, really.
Apart from God no one can be saved.
That’s the whole point of the camel through the eye of a needle. Have you ever heard anybody explain this by saying that the eye of the needle represents some kind of tiny passageway into the city of Jerusalem where you had to kneel down to go through it? I don’t think that’s what it means at all. When he says the eye of a needle, he means the eye of a needle. Like the needle you do sewing with. When he says camel, he means a great big old smelly, ugly camel that you ride across the desert. “Look at a camel and the eye of a needle. It is easier to get a big ugly camel through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.”
Why? Because rich people trust in their riches. It’s easy for a poor person to get saved because a poor person says, “If Jesus doesn’t come through for me, I’m sunk.” A rich man says, “If Jesus doesn’t come through for me, that’s okay. I’ve got my pension. I’ve got my stocks and bonds. I’ve got my options. I’ve got my golden parachute. I’ve got my safety net. If he doesn’t come through, it doesn’t matter. I’m taking care of things myself.”
It is impossible, Jesus says, for a rich man to be saved. Which leads to a very logical question: "Who then can be saved?” The answer comes in verse 26: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Here is the good news of the gospel. Even rich people can be saved if they will give up their trust in their riches. The richest people on earth can be saved, but they’ve got to stop trusting in their riches and they’ve got to start trusting in Jesus Christ and him alone.
Whenever you stop trusting in money and the things that money can buy and turn your life over to Jesus Christ, then and only then will your heart be satisfied.
The one thing you lack, God offers to you right now. He offers you forgiveness and a brand-new life. The one thing you need is yours for the asking. If you have discovered that having it all is not enough, then please consider something that money can’t buy.
Would you like a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ? It’s yours for the asking. Open your heart to him and he will come in.
Father, you promised bread for the hungry and rest for the weary. May those who hunger be filled with the Bread of Life. And may the weary find the rest that only Jesus can give. Forgive us for loving money so much that we have no room for you. Grant that we might realize our deepest need so that you can provide for us the “one thing” we lack. In Jesus name, Amen.
Nearly all of us are rich compared to those who have less than we do. What are the signs that we love our money more than we love God? How can we break the idolatry of money? Why is it truly impossible for any of us to be saved on our own? Name some things that money can't buy but God can provide.
Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of keep believing ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 27 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me?