In Matthew 19:16-26, Jesus encounters the rich young ruler who asks Jesus what he must do to get eternal life. Apparently, the young man was a very good person. He explained to Jesus that he had made it a point to follow all the commands for living in the ten commandments. Jesus then told him: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus then makes this extreme statement to His disciples: “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.” Understandably, the disciples were blown away by Jesus’ statement and responded: “Who then can be saved?”
Don’t miss this! Jesus’ response to them is HUGE! In it He really sums up the entire plight of man described in the Bible. Jesus says to them: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” And so it is. Even the “really good people” among us still fall short of God’s standard – PERFECTION! From what I can understand, we cannot have eternal life with God, in His presence, if we are not perfect. PERFECT? Well then, I am toast…. And so are all of us. We are not perfect and cannot be. Even the very best among us, through their good deeds and in their own power, cannot be perfect. Through our own efforts and power, we can no more be perfect than a camel can go through the eye of a needle.
But listen to the words of Jesus: “With God all things are possible.” God sent Jesus to us to show us His true character and nature; to show us how to live a life pleasing to God and beneficial to us and others; and to clearly tell us that we cannot receive eternal life with God unless we are perfect. Jesus also came with another eternally important purpose: To do what we could not – to live a perfect life. To earn eternal life through His own goodness and right living. Then, in God’s plan, Jesus gave Himself to suffer and experience the penalty and punishment that comes from sin: death – the penalty that we deserve: eternal separation from God.
Because of the sacrificial acts of Jesus, those who recognize Him as their Savior and Leader, who bow their knee in honor of Him, receive His righteousness and are made perfect in the eyes of God. What we could not do for ourselves, God did for us. So, who can be saved? Those who are made righteous through Jesus. Thank You God!