Next Steps

The man we know as the “rich young ruler” came and knelt at the feet of Jesus. He made the first step towards becoming a disciple. But when he inquired as to what the next step would be, he was faced with what I will term “eye of the needle change.”

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,”he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. 

Impossible Possibilities

But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mk 10: 21-27

Here’s the contrast: attempting to pass something too thick, through a small opening versus passing something very thin, through a larger opening. What type of passageway would you prefer to traverse? In other words, what type of change would you prefer? That which you could humanly achieve, without God’s help, or that which only God could do?

Jesus establishes for us a principle. It applies to not only the rich but to all of us. Everyone who chooses to follow after Jesus will experience “eye of the needle change.”

When Jesus calls me to follow Him, He will always make a way. It will seldom be an easy passage however. 

Love Beckons Change

Jesus looked at him and loved him. Mk. 10:21 Jesus looks at me and you and he loves us. But many times He puts his finger on a sensitive place. It’s not just material riches but it’s things like attitudes, priorities, lifestyles, relationships, pride, fear, rebellion, lack of faith, etc… Transitions are seldom easy as they require a rearranging in our inner core. I love Peter’s heartfelt declaration: 

We have left everything to follow you! “Truly I tell you,”Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – along with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life.

We all know what being persecuted for the gospel is. Most of us have never experienced firsthand the life threatening elements of being a Christian in a hostile country. But we all have known the hardship and challenge of feeling overwhelmed in life.

Jesus says to us: Follow me. It will be worth it; both in this life and in the life to come. With God all things are possible. Even a camel through the eye of a needle.