Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who Then Can Be Saved?

Blessings for Obedience:

"Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall you be in your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out."

"And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them."

So, with words like these in the Old Covenant, what would be a natural thought towards someone who was rich inside the Jewish nation? Would you not think that they are rich and prosperous because of their obedience to God's commandments? Of course you would.

Yet Jesus begins to preach something radically different and seemingly contrary to the words God had previously spoken to Israel under the Law of Moses:

"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets."

Again, I ask you, what do you think the Jews thought of rich people in Jesus' day, being under a Covenant where you were blessed for your obedience to God's commandments? You would think rich people are the dedicated of the dedicated, the committed of the committed, the obedient of the obedient.

But read these words from the Gospel of Luke:

Jesus: "How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

Jews: Those who heard it were exceedingly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?"

Jesus: But He said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."