Daily Readings & Thought for July 18th.. “WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED”
Our chapter (19) in Matthew contains several sayings of our Master that are most challenging. There was one that made his disciples “greatly astonished.” It was the outcome of a conversation that started when “a man came up to him saying, ‘Teacher what good deed must I do to inherit eternal life?” [v.16] This causes Jesus to say, ‘If you would enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ and Jesus then lists the principal commandments, “You shall not “ … murder … commit adultery … shall not steal … bear false witness … will honour (your parents) … love your neighbour as yourself.” [v.17,19]
The man responds, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack? Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” [v.20,21] “The young man went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
Jesus tells his disciples how difficult it is ”for rich people to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples “were greatly astonished saying, “Who then can be saved?” [v.25] We ponder our Lord’s reply, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” This is because God looks to see the true condition of our hearts: what are our priorities in life, what we have “left” behind so as to “do (work) for my name’s sake … and (therefore) will inherit eternal life.” [v.29]
So we must each ask ourselves, what am I doing in the service of Jesus? Am I just giving him my spare time? How has being called to his service changed the priorities in my life? How do I use my Holydays? Only those who have their priorities right “can be saved” – but they will not have ‘earned’ salvation; Paul made a vital point in writing to the Corinthians, “we (are) working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain” [2 Cor 6 v.1] Do you fully appreciate his grace? Are you “working together” with your Saviour?