Come, follow me. Matthew 19:21
Over several years, a British couple living in West Africa developed a strong friendship with a man in their town and many times shared the love of Jesus and the story of salvation with him. Their friend, however, was reluctant to relinquish the lifetime of allegiance he had to another religion, even though he came to recognize that faith in Christ was “the greater truth.” His concern was partly financial, since he was a leader in his faith and depended on the compensation he received. He also feared losing his reputation among the people in his community.
With sadness, he explained, “I’m like a man fishing with my hands in a stream. I have caught a small fish in one, but a bigger fish is swimming by. To catch the bigger fish, I have to let go of the smaller one!”
The rich young ruler Matthew wrote about in Matthew 19 had a similar problem. When he approached Jesus, he asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (v. 16). He seemed sincere, but he didn’t want to fully surrender his life to Jesus. He was rich, not only in money, but also in his pride of being a rule-follower. Although he desired eternal life, he loved something else more and rejected Christ’s words.
When we humbly surrender our life to Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation, He invites us, “Come, follow me” (v. 21).
What one thing does Jesus require of us to receive salvation and the promise of eternal life with Him? What’s keeping you from fully surrendering to Him?
Dear Father, thank You for offering Your Son as payment for my sin. Help me to surrender wholly to You.
There are several interpretations of Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:24: “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.” One view suggests “the eye of the needle” refers to a gate opening that could only be entered by a camel that had been relieved of its cargo. Another hypothesis is that the word for “camel” was mistranslated and should be translated “rope.” But these unlikely explanations rob this statement of its true meaning. The point is that apart from God’s grace, it’s not just difficult but impossible to be saved.