Good Friday morning to you! Hope you rested well last night. Today we are reading verses 15-30 of the eighteenth chapter of Luke.
The first few verses of this section always makes me smile. Jesus is still talking with the people, and they begin to bring their children to him. The disciples think that Jesus has no time for such foolishness so they rebuke the people and try to stop it, but Jesus says "Suffer the little children to come unto me." (v 16) Let the little children come.
Jesus knows his time is growing short and still there is much to yet he doesn't turn away the young ones. Why? Because of their innocence! They know nothing of holding a grudge, or wanting to hurt another person. They don't care about riches, or fame, or any of the things that tend to make us adults stumble. They have innocent, loving hearts, willing to trust that Jesus loves them. Jesus said that unless we are like the children, we won't enter the gates of heaven.
Children trust that their parents or guardians will love them and take care of them. They want to do what is right and make their parents happy. We adults think we have to do it all ourselves, have things done our way. We hold onto the things that matter little in the long run and let the important things go as if they mean nothing. Take for example the rich young ruler who wanted to follow Jesus.
The ruler asked Jesus what needed to be done to enter heaven. Jesus told him: Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not lie. Honor your father and mother. The man replied that he had followed those things since he was a child. Jesus replied that he lacked just one thing: sell all you have and give to the poor. Do that and you'll have treasure in heaven. Do it and come follow me. The man went away sorrowfully because he had great riches and wasn't ready to give them up.
Jesus said in verse 25 that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. I think its not so much the wealth that is the problem. It's wanting to hold onto it.
In today's world money is a great divider. Most likely was back then as well. But today politicians use money, or the lack thereof, as a way to divide the people. Some insist that the rich have too much money and should be forced to share. The people who have very little money tend to agree: Rich people should be taxed. They should give up some of their money so that we all can have money. Notice though, that the ones who insist that the rich need to part with their money, usually aren't that willing to give up their own. The politicians aren't counting themselves as part of "the rich." No one seems to notice that little detail though. But its not just the rich who hang on to what they have. Some of us who don't have much in the way of the green stuff still have our possessions that we hold tightly to: food, material items we've bought, families.
I love my books and my crafting supplies. Money is tight so I usually buy books on sale, as in from the clearance bins or yard sales. I can find some great books that way. My art supplies, on sale, on clearance, an item here or there when I get a chance. If something gets damaged or lost, I get a little upset. I'm getting better at that. After all, that stuff can be replaced or I'll find something else that catches my fancy on down the line. Family though. I hold a lot tighter to those who are dear to me. I don't like giving them up. But if a loved one tries to sway me from keeping my eye on Jesus or tells me if I continue in a Christian life I can't have anything to do with them anymore, I'm going to be sad. I would like to think that I have the faith and the strength to let that person go. I dont know for sure though. I hope I am never faced with that choice. Others have had to make that choice. It's not always easy, but when we give up something or someone, God has something better in mind for us. This world is temporary. The next one isnt.
Have a great day.