Mark 10:22,24-26 (NJKV) But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions… And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 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.” And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
In this passage, Jesus was dealing with the idolatry in the heart of the rich young ruler. This young man had both power and money. He was a “mover and shaker” of his time, a man of affluence and influence.
The eye of a needle here is referring to a narrow passageway, and a camel carrying goods had to have the goods unloaded in order to pass through it. Likewise, for a person to follow God wholeheartedly, there will be some strongholds in our lives that need to be given up. They could be idol-worshipping, philosophy, power, sex, or in this case, money. The thing though is that we won’t know how much a stronghold money has on us until we need to let go of it, and this is exactly how this young ruler felt when he was asked to give it all up and follow the Lord wholeheartedly. The riches that he had was the security that he held onto dearly. It was a master in his life, and he had to lay it down and not let it be a god to him.
The young man was sad at Jesus’ Word because he couldn’t give up the idol in his life, and he went away sorrowful because he couldn’t part with his wealth and power. Similarly, we also have emotions to deal with regardless of how successful we are. We will have regrets when we make the wrong decision, or when we are unable to make the right decision even when we know it is right, critical and necessary. In the case of the rich young ruler, the right, critical and necessary decision was to come before God in childlike faith to accept His way for salvation.
Unfortunately, there will be times when it is too late to regret just like the rich man who was suffering in Hades and cried out to Abraham for help in warning his brothers on earth not to make the same mistake (Luke 16:19-31). While we are still able to right the wrong when we are on earth now, let’s not miss the chance to do so!
Sermon Series: Are You Young and Rich?