10 Nov 2012, by Robin Piong CM-
When was the last time you meet or see a young man who drives a super car waiting fashionably in front of a hotel or a restaurant? You probably think he is rich, probably some spoilt brat with old money.
This is exactly the same position as the rich young man in Matthew 19:16-22. However, he was far from a rich brat but a role model to all Jewish youths of that day. In fact, he kept all the commandments of Moses and the prophets since he was young, very confident of his righteousness.
Not only he came from a family which is rich and blessed, but they were observers of the law, the old covenant and the prophets.
It is probably due to them obeying the laws of Moses and the old covenant since it was written in Deuteronomy 28:1, that they received all the blessings and promises of God. That is why their family were so rich.
In short, if you are careful to obey the voice of the Lord and His commandments, you will be blessed in abundance. You will be blessed in the city, in the field, in your coming in and in your going out. Your children will be blessed. To put it simply, in everything you do, you would find favour and be blessed.
This confident and self-perceived righteous young man asked Jesus one day, “teacher, what must I do to enter the kingdom of God?” There was an exchange of question and answers about the ten commandments, in which the young man affirmed, “Yes, I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws.”
Here comes the arrogance when he asked:
“Now what else?”
Jesus knowing his heart said “yes, of course there is something else you need to do. If you want to be perfect, you need to sell all you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.”
Wow! The young man was shocked and astonished. All his beliefs passed down by his parents disappeared in a moment. The young man went back sorrowful because he was wealthy. He just could not follow the standards that Jesus set.
Jesus said that, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
The disciples were astonished as well. Peter wondered if this young man, a moral elite among the Jews, cannot be save for eternal life.
Then who else can be saved?
Peter pleaded, “Lord, we have left everything we have to follow you.” You see Peter too, after all that he has done, is unsure about his own salvation now.
How many times do we as believers doubt our salvation?
But Jesus answered in return, “With men it is impossible but with God all things are possible!”
This particular line was taken out of context so many times, but Jesus was referring to the grace and plan that God have to save the Jews and Gentiles.
Dear brother and sister in Christ, God has a plan for us to be saved. He sent His Son Jesus because he is the perfect sacrifice, the one without blemish.
And His suffering and death on the cross symbolizes His love for us, that through his stripes, his blood, his death, we are healed and blessed today!
Let me tell you the good news. We are no longer under the law and the old covenant.
Today we and all our children will be blessed in the city and in the field, in our coming in and our going out.
We found favour, and are blessed with abundance and healing not because we listen and obey the commandments of the Lord first.
But because of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross for us!
Isaiah 53:3: He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.
Isaiah 53:4: But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.
Isaiah 53:5: He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed.
Isaiah 53:6: All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him.
Isaiah 53:9: They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully.
Isaiah 53:10: Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him.
Isaiah 53:12: So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels.”
-New English Translation Bible-
All you need to do is believe that Jesus has done the work on the cross for us already.
You can never earn your salvation and righteousness by yourself in obeying all the laws that were commanded to you, for we are saved by grace through faith.
It is a gift, not acquired by you.
But because of the love and the grace of God, we enjoy first the experience of a wonderful relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
I can tell you confidently that this is the reason why I listen and hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord.
And it is so natural.
The pressure and the work is no longer there.
The joy of my salvation will cause me to reciprocate to love him like never before.
Background of writer: The writer is the founder of christianitymalaysia.com by the Grace of God. He spiritually left after more than a decade being in the ‘Church of Laodicea of Revelation 3:14’ where all the members are lukewarm. He and his family currently worship at Eaglepoint Church in Puchong.