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Lesson # Matt. 19:23-26
Study Material - Matt. 19:23-26
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
23 Then [de] said [epo] Jesus [Iesous] unto his [autos] disciples [mathetes] , Verily [amen] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , That [hoti] a rich man [plousios] shall hardly [duskolos] enter [eiserchomai] into [eis] the kingdom [basileia] of heaven [ouranos] .
24 And [de] again [palin] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , It is [esti] easier [eukopoteros] for a camel [kamelos] to go [dierchomai] through [dia] the eye [trupema] of a needle [rhaphis] , than [e] for a rich man [plousios] to enter [eiserchomai] into [eis] the kingdom [basileia] of God [theos] .
25 When [de] his [autos] disciples [mathetes] heard [akouo] it, they were exceedingly [sphodra] amazed [ekplesso] , saying [lego] , Who [tis] then [ara] can [dunamai] be saved [sozo] ?
26 But [de] Jesus [Iesous] beheld [emblepo] them, and said [epo] unto them [autos] , With [para] men [anthropos] this [touto] is [esti] impossible [adunatos] ; but [de] with [para] God [theos] all things [pas] are [esti] possible [dunatos] . KJV-Interlinear
23 And Jesus said to His disciples, 'Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 'And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.' 25 And when the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, 'Then who can be saved?' 26 And looking upon them Jesus said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' NAS
I'll repeat yesterdays opening paragraph. The absolute worst thing that can happen to a person is when they wish things to be a certain way, things that they are accustomed to or perhaps things that they are used to, but deep down inside they know that things are not meant to be the way they wish. Then, instead of turning their life around and heading in the direction they should be heading, they simply become dismayed and walk away from that which is right, and they keep hold of their old ways and head into misery.
Those who turn away from Bible study because they encounter a contradiction in their life which they know that they must change, but can't or won't make the change, are the ones making the worst possible decision in their life. They trade the tremendous blessings of doctrine for the current satisfaction of their desire. This is a great loss.
A camel can go through the eye of the needle easier than a person who is faced with making a change in their life, and actually making that change. Stubborn arrogance or insecurity or the fear of a loss of some kind, usually are the barriers which stand in the way of a person making a change in their life.
What are some of the changes in life that we could use as examples of this predicament that people face? Smoking cigarettes is bad for you, but making the change is difficult. The facts are known but the self discipline is hard to enforce the quitting. I know this had nothing to do with salvation, but it is only an example to illustrate why making changes in ones life are difficult. Another situation which we have just studied. The desire to remain single but still enjoy the benefits of a marriage. Here a commitment is lacking in the life. It is easier to come up with excuses or even great sounding arguments against getting married, but they just cover for a lack of integrity in a persons life. Same sex relationships? Here again there is a lack of a commitment to the proper opposite sexual partner. Many other reasons can be rationalized, but a sin is a sin and a change is a change, and a no change is a no change. Another example has to do with how husbands and wives relate to each other in their marriage, and so forth. And of course in our passage, the rich young ruler had an issue with salvation and how to exactly accomplish it.
There is a list a mile long of things that people need to change in their life, and just because you may not relate to these examples does not mean that you don't have issues you need to address in life. If you truly desire to advance in your spiritual life, then you will objectively evaluate your own life and make every effort to comply with Gods will.
Oh the eye of the needle. What does that mean? Some view it as an expression for the impossible, but of course salvation is not an impossibility. So what does it mean? In the ancient world the cities had entrances with gates. At nightfall the gates were closed and admission or even exit was not allowed through the main gate. This was to protect the city from unscrupulous invaders and such.
Off to the side of the gate was a much smaller 'man' gate. This was a passage through which no more than a single man and a single camel could pass at one time. This was called the 'eye of the needle.' If you know anything about animals (horses, cows, camels), they are difficult to lead through an enclosed passage especially if it is very narrow and very dark. This is not an impossible task, but it does take quite some effort to get through. Though difficult it is not impossible.
So the disciples were somewhat shocked. If salvation is more difficult than this, then who can be saved? Often times people will simply camp outside the main gate and come through in the morning because it is much easier than attempting to navigate the narrow passage in the dark.
People will often prefer their easier way of life than making a change in their life which will bring them into compliance with Gods will. It is far easier, or so they believe. With people, making change is virtually impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible. And that simply means, if you will be consistent with your daily life in Bible study, if you advance in your spiritual life, then God will, through doctrine in your soul, bring about the necessary transformation in your soul which will enable you to make those changes necessary in your life.
God will not force change on you. You have to first want it. Actually you have to first want to have a very close relationship with God. Once you have a genuine desire to advance in your spiritual life, then you have the opportunity to advance to great heights toward spiritual maturity.
If however, your earthly desires are more important to you than your spiritual desires, then you will find great misery and failure in your future, and that would be a great loss to you. You can defeat your stubbornness or you can allow it to defeat you. The choice is always yours.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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