Christ wanted his disciples to see a picture with their flesh eyes so that they might be able to "see" with their spiritual eyes the real picture of what He was teaching them!
Are you able to receive the sayings of Jesus Christ? Do you listen to His Voice or do you listen to the unforgiving traditions of men which not only make void the Word of God but are used to "bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, to lay on men's shoulders" while the hypocrites who espouse them will not so much as lift a finger to show them how they might be set free and have peace of mind and rest in Him (Matthew 23:4). In this study we are going to learn that "all things are possible with God" because He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price on the cross that we through belief in Him might have eternal life. The other side to that is simply that without Him, try and try as he might, it is impossible for man to attain salvation!
How quickly the disciples (students) of Jesus Christ, including those of us in this final generation, can forget the simplest of His teachings, so perhaps we should be given a pop quiz from the beginning of the last chapter (18). Question: "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Here is the correct answer:Matthew 19:13
Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
Remember Christ went to the trouble of taking a child and placing him in the midst of His disciples that they might see a picture with their flesh eyes so that they might "see" with their spiritual eyes the real picture of what He was teaching them!Matthew 18:4-5
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Then He said this:
Now it seems the disciples are refusing Him to receive little children by rebuking those who would do such an innocent thing as to bring their little children to Him to receive His blessing. Think about what kind of message that sends. Here is Jesus' response and instruction to the disciples complimenting His former teaching that one must become as a little child if he or she is to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Spiritually speaking one had better suffer all "little children" to come unto Christ. The fact is that Jesus Christ was not at all happy with what the disciples did in rebuking those who would bring their infants and little children to Him! Mark tells us of His great displeasure: Mark 10:14 "But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." So that we understand the magnitude of the disciples offense, here is Strong's definition of "much displeased":Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Don't ignore the children my friend. Jesus Christ loves and blesses "little children" (from infants on up) who are brought to Him. Let them sing "Jesus loves me, yes I know!" The whole point is, as disciples of Jesus Christ we should never try to hinder anyone from coming to or bringing someone to the Lord Jesus Christ to be blessed by Him. We need to remember that both physically and spiritually we must all start out as little children! We must all BECOME as one of these little children and be willing to taken up in His arms and blessed by Him. "For of such is the kingdom of God."much displeased, aganakteo, ag-an-ak-teh'-o, Greek 23; from agan (much) and achthos (grief; akin to the base of Greek 43 (agkale)); to be greatly afflicted, i.e. (figurative) indignant :- be much (sore) displeased, have (be moved with, with) indignation.
Mark explains in more detail what the expression "He laid His hands on them" means which is simply that He picked them up and blessed them. "And He took them up in his arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them (Mark 10:16)." You "see", Jesus loves the little children, don't you? Remember the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children". Below are the entire lyrics in case like me you only learned the refrain while growing up. And He laid His hands on them, and departed thence.
The last stanza is actually very fitting for the rest of today's study.
Jesus calls the children dear,
“Come to me and never fear,
For I love the little children of the world;
I will take you by the hand,
Lead you to the better land,
For I love the little children of the world.”
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Jesus died for all the children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus died for all the children of the world.]
Jesus is the Shepherd true,
And He’ll always stand by you,
For He loves the little children of the world;
He’s a Savior great and strong,
And He’ll shield you from the wrong,
For He loves the little children of the world.
I am coming, Lord, to Thee,
And Your soldier I will be,
For You love the little children of the world;
And Your cross I’ll always bear,
And for You I’ll do and dare,
For You love the little children of the world.
Hope you enjoyed that. Now we are going to see an example of a man who would not become as a little child. We will find that this man is "rich and increased with goods and has need of nothing". Does that remind you of anyone? (see Rev. 3:14-22)
What kind of question is that? Can you earn salvation by doing "good things"! If that were the case then why would Christ have needed to come to this earth and suffer and die on the cross? Who needs Him or even needs to know Him if one can do good things using His name and be granted eternal life? This is a serious matter, so take heed and consider carefully what Messiah has to say. Remember too what we learned in chapter 7 concerning doing Father's will, not our own, and it will help in understanding what's going on with this rich man. Let's do a quick review:Matthew 19:16
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
There are multitudes of Christian's right now who say "Lord, Lord", "Jesus is Lord", "Praise the Lord" and they do all kinds of "good things", many wonderful works in Jesus' name. They are led to do so by the many false preachers Christ warned us about in Mat. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 who have come in His name claiming to be His representatives and yet deceive the multitudes by teaching the traditions of men instead of His Word chapter by chapter and line by line. Consequently the people remain Biblically illiterate and thus never get to know Jesus Christ, the Word of God, to even know what Father's will is.[22 ]Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Iniquity is following the traditions of men who teach that if you are a good church-going Christian and a good steward who serves on this committee and does this and that and gives of your tithes and offerings, etc., etc., then you will be in good standing with Christ for all the good things you have done! Really? Better listen to what the Word of God has to say instead of men's ideas. Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Here is Christ's first response to the rich man.
Christ told the young man to keep Father's Word which in doing so shows that a person truly loves Him. The reality is that this young man was in love with another god, the god of gold and silver. Think about the fact that he was standing right there in the presence of Emmanuel, God with us, and he could not "see" Him!Matthew 19:17
And He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Maybe Christ's words in John 14 will help clarify this:
You keep the things you love most nearest and dearest to your heart. This young man kept earthly possessions closest to his heart.John 14:15-17
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;
Does the Word of God dwell in you? Good thing if He does for His goodness, i.e. His righteousness, is all that is good in you and me for as it is written, "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa. 64:6)". That's right, there is none good, but One, that is God! Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
This young rich man was blinded to the Spirit of truth by his worldly treasures, his heart's desire, and consequently could not "see" and did not "know" Jesus Christ, the Word of God, though he was standing there beholding Him. He thought of Christ as just a good man, just as many think that the Word of God is just a "Good Book" telling them how to be a "good person"! In fact they usually refer to it as the Bible instead of the Word of God. Think about it!
So the man asked Christ "What good thing he must do", i.e. to be a good person and receive eternal life, to which Christ replied that there is "none good but One, that is, God., "but IF you truly desire to enter into life then "keep the commandments". Now the man asks "Which?"
He saith unto Him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder*, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
* Note: Just for the record since we are discussing the inability of some people to see clearly and understand the Word of God, we often see the 6th Commandment which reads "Thou shalt not kill" in Ex. 20:13 displayed on posters and banners by "do gooder" demonstrators outside a facility that is about to carry out the death penalty of a convicted murderer. Here in Matthew 19:18 we see the 6th Commandment correctly stated "Thou shalt do no murder". If one takes the time to check out the Hebrew word for "kill" in the 6th Commandment he will find that it is "ratsach" which means to murder just like the Greek word Christ used, "phoneus", which also means to murder, as in premeditated (lie in wait) criminal homicide. Here are the Hebrew and Greek words used in the 6th Commandment in the two occasions above:
The penalty according to God's law for committing premeditated (lie in wait) "murder" is the death penalty, i.e. to be executed and sent home to the Father, and it is found in the very next chapter following the 10 Commandments:kill, (Hebrew) ratsach, raw-tsakh', Hebrew 7523; a primitive root; properly to dash in pieces, i.e. kill (a human being), especially to murder :- put to death, kill, (man-) slay (-er), murder (-er).
murder, (Greek) phoneus, fon-yooce', Greek 5406; from Greek 5408 (phonos); a murderer (always of criminal [or at least intentional] homicide; which Greek 443 (anthropoktonos) does not necessarily imply; while Greek 4607 (sikarios) is a special term for a public bandit) :- murderer.
The Hebrew word for "put to death" is "muwth", not "ratsach".Exodus 21:12-13
He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
If the death is accidental then the death penalty is not called for.muwth, mooth, Hebrew 4191; a primitive root; to die (literal or figurative); causative to kill :- × at all, × crying, (be) dead (body, man, one), (put to, worthy of) death, destroy (-er), (cause to, be like to, must) die, kill, necro [-mancer], × must needs, slay, × surely, × very suddenly, × in [no] wise.
Now you know the law of God regarding the sentence to be carried out on one who commits criminal homicide. And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.
This is an interesting question by the young man who claims he has kept all the commandments of God from His youth up. And for the most part he probably is a fairly "good" person, but he has his priorities upside down and has a big problem seeing himself as he really is, like most Christians of the church of Laodicea. The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
The young man didn't think he needed anything, like the forgiveness of an indebted servant who owes 10,000 talents of silver (i.e. has fallen short of the law  and short of the glory of God [x 1000]). He just wanted to know what "good thing" he could do to enter into the kingdom of God. Here is Christ's counsel to those who are rich and increased with goods, which coincides with what He is about to tell the young rich man.Rev. 3:17-22
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
The "fire" is the Holy Spirit, even the Word of God, for as it is written in Heb. 12:29 "For our God is a consuming fire." You better sell all you have and buy of Him that precious truth from His Word. Remember what we learned in Mat. 13 concerning the true wealth? I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Well, true to His Word, Christ is now going to tell the young rich man what to do about what he "lacks", which is "perfection" which means maturity in the Word of God. Take note of the word "IF" used again in this verse for it is a matter of choice... your choice! As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Unfortunately, this statement went right over the head of the rich man, as it does with most Christians who are blinded by the traditions of men. At this point, even the disciples did not think this out on the spiritual level Christ was explaining, which is simply the same thing He stated before which was IF the man truly wanted to be "perfect", complete and mature, then he needed to keep the commandments, which is to do God's will. All Christ is doing now is expounding upon the will of God, which is to do the work His servants were sent here to do... which is what?Matthew 19:21
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Remember Mat. 13? Go "sell all you have" and purchase the field full of spiritual riches and that pearl of great price. Matthew 13:44 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." Then, once he or she "is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven" that servant becomes as an householder and is to take of that precious treasure and bring it forth to their household! Matthew 13:52 "Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."
Again, what does a true servant of God do? Does a servant of God spend most of his or her time going to church and helping out with all sorts of good charities like raising money and canned goods to feed the poor? Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with helping people who are down and out, as long as those who are down and out are intent on raising themselves back up to the level of self-sufficiency. And it goes without saying that the handicapped and those who are unable to provide for themselves are another matter.
However, just giving money to the poor does not help the poor beyond the moment. The old adage "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man how to fish and you feed for a lifetime" is true indeed. Do-gooder liberals like to feel good (and righteous) by giving of their possessions, or better yet giving of your possessions (like your tax dollars or charitable donations) to those who are willing to play the roles of victims and accept freebies and handouts. Many there are who are infected with the social disease "Itsnotmyfaultism". True Christians accept responsibility and pay their own way.
Now let's go back and reread what Christ said to the rich man.
What is it that the man was to "give to the poor"? It was not All his material goods that he possessed?Again, will giving material goods to the poor "lay up treasure in heaven" for you? No, it will not!Matthew 19:21
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
The poor are to have the precious pearls of wisdom and truth given to them by those who possess the keys to the kingdom. Because you see, Christ is not talking about the materially poor but rather the spiritually poor, the poor in spirit! Hello!What is it that makes one rich and gives one life? It is the Living Word of God, the gospel of truth!
What has the subject been all along here? Salvation to the poor, to the blind, to the lame, to those LOST children of the house of Israel who wander blindly to and fro in the wilderness. Christ came to save the lost!Matthew 11:5
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Jesus Christ paid the price on the cross to make all of this possible. Let us continue the good news and the giving to the poor the precious pearls of His truth that they may come to know Him and be set free. The "meek" to whom the "good tidings", i.e. the gospel, are preached are the "poor" in spirit, not the materially poor.Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Remember we read of those materially rich people of Laodicea
who "art wretched, and miserable, and poor,
and blind, and naked" indeed!
We could go on and on covering again what the "kingdom of God is like unto" but the fact is that one cannot have his or her heart set on studying and teaching Father's Word and still be consumed with coveting the material things of this world. Remember we learned that one cannot serve both God and mammon. One or the other as a matter of priority has to go.
Which will it be for you? You see, what the rich man served was the god of gold and silver, so what he really needed to "sell" was the idol, the golden image in his head, and "buy of Him gold tried in the fire" that he might become rich spiritually! Then he could give to the poor of those riches and lay up store for himself in heaven.Matthew 6:24
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
The young rich man was consumed (as in coveted) with laying up treasures on earth.Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
If your heart is in giving the true spiritual riches of His Word to the poor, then you shall lay up treasures for yourself in heaven. The ironic part is, that those who love bringing forth out of their treasure the new and old riches to their household, do not do so for the purpose of laying up treasure in heaven. They do it because they love the Lord and they love their brothers and sisters who are held in bondage by man's traditions. The question for all to ask, "Where's your own heart?" This is the generation wherein Jeshurun waxes fat (Deut. 32:15), meaning that it is a time of peace and prosperity. Many do not realize that peace and prosperity brings about a greater spiritual testing (a greater tribulation) than do times of war and conflict. In other words, people are real quick to turn to God when they find themselves frightened in a foxhole or in danger from hanging upside-down in a well. But when they are safe and warm and fat and happy with money in the bank and a fancy car in the driveway, they are quick to turn from God!That is the story of this generation as outlined in the Song of Moses which the overcomers sing in Rev. 15. Here's how the sad story goes: Deut. 32:15 "But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of His salvation." And so it is our people in times of peace and prosperity are drawn away from the Word of God and do lightly esteem the Rock of His salvation, Jesus Christ. Again, where is your heart? What is foremost on your mind everyday when you wake up? But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Here is what happened when the young rich man heard what Christ said about selling all that he had... and to come and "follow Him"! For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The kingdom of heaven will just have to wait until this man "wakes up" and finds that he is spiritually "poor and wretched and miserable". His earthly treasures are where his heart is, though now, even with all his great possessions he has not found the peace of mind that comes from knowing Him, but has rather found distress and unhappiness and conflict in not being able to serve two masters.Matthew 19:22
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
So now that we have the sad story laid out before us, let us see what we are to learn from all this as Christ teaches His disciples... that would be you if are a student of His Word and one of His followers.
That a rich man shall "hardly" enter into the kingdom of heaven means that it will be very hard or difficult for one who "trusts in riches" (see Mark 10:24) to sell all that he has, unload his idolatrous spiritual baggage, to become as a little child and turn and follow Him.... Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
"Again" He says to restate the point and make clear by illustration what He is saying. Many who read this verse picture in their mind's eye a camel trying to squeeze through the eye of a sewing needle which is not what the "eye of a needle" was. It was a small gate in the surrounding wall of the city that one had to go through during the night when the main gate was closed for homeland security purposes. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
For a camel to actually go through the eye of a needle, that gate, it had to be completely unloaded of its "burden" and had to physically get down on its knees in order to pass through.
The disciples were totally shocked by this! With their eyes focused on the physical impossibilities of all the things Christ has just taught them regarding adultery, eunuchism, and "honey I shrank the camel", they are thinking that becoming saved is almost an impossible task. When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
But... Jesus BEHELD them!
"Beheld them" in Greek is to "em-blepo" which means "to look at intently", to look them in the eyes as if to cause them to spiritually sharpen up and get with the program to "see" and "hear" what He is saying to them. There is nothing man can do to save himself or herself and enter into the kingdom... because there is none good! We are all fall short of the law and the glory of God. He alone is "good"!You may think you are a pretty good Christian because of all the wonderful things you do, but when it comes right down to where the rubber meets the road... unless you unload whatever it is you have on your camel's back and humbly turn to Him in repentance, you'll never get through the gate. But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
The good news is that He has provided a way and made it possible through the blood of the Lamb for ALL to come to Him in repentance and be forgiven and enter into eternal life. And that is His desire (2 Pet. 3:9). Jesus Christ is the "door" through which you can enter into the kingdom and have peace of mind and serenity for ever more.
There's that big little word "If" again. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is that door. It is your choice to enter in through that door or struggle with your camel and hope you can make it through the eye of a needle!Forsake all the traditions of men and the temporary riches this world has to offer and turn to His Word and hear His Voice this day. Psalm 95:7-8 "...To day if ye will hear his voice,  Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness."John 10:9
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Good ol' Peter! What an inspired "straight man" he is! Seems he always comes up with just the right questions at just the right moment for just the right teaching to take place. And you've got to love this question which paraphrased reads "What's in it for us?" In other words, what is in store for us who have forsaken all and followed Christ? The point is, however, that Peter is only asking this question because the subject of riches and forsaking all is being discussed because this was not on his mind nor the minds of the other disciples when they were called to follow Him. Remember the account in Matthew 4:18-20, "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."Matthew 19:27
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
The regeneration is when the kingdom of God is restored on earth at the second advent when the King of kings and Lord of lords returns with the saints of the Most High. Rev. 5:10 "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Though they do not desire riches and wealth above the richness and precious wisdom of His Word, servants of God do NOT labor in vain. Our Father pays, as in compensates or rewards, all those who serve Him. To that end, you have an account in heaven, a treasure chest where your store is laid up, and your heavenly Father keeps good track of your eternal annuity... which far outperforms any investment Wall Street ever dreamed of. Besides, it's spiritual wealth and includes the inheritance of ETERNAL LIFE! And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Wow! By the way, have you ever looked up in the sky at night and checked out the vastness of our Father's real estate holdings?
Nevertheless, the point is that our Father is just and right, meaning that He is totally fair, and IF you have the desire to enter into the kingdom of God and are willing to be true to His Word and forsake all others... then you shall receive blessings an hundredfold. "100" in Biblical numerics is "Election of Grace" and "Children of Promise". A word to the wise.
In our next study we shall learn what Christ means when He makes the intriguing statement "Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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