This case illustrates what a tremendous obstacle riches are to spiritual interest.  Such an immense obstacle it is that the Lord says it is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  There are a few Abrahams, Solomons, and Philemons in the kingdom, but only a few.  The Lord prefers to choose His saints mainly from among the poor, ignorant, and obscure masses. 

The disciples were astonished by the Lord’s conclusion, and asked, “Who then can be saved?”  They must then have been thinking that, if anyone could find the kingdom, it would be the bright, intelligent, wealthy set.  But, in the end, salvation is not achievable by the power or goodness of any sinful man.  The poor can no more lift himself into the kingdom by his bootstraps than can the rich.  But, with God all things are possible.  God magnifies His grace in saving the unknown and unpopular, but occasionally He magnifies His power even more by calling a proud, wealthy sinner to Himself.

Peter was no doubt somewhat taken aback by this teaching of the Lord, and seems anxious to make sure of his own spiritual state, his and his fellow disciples.  He reminds Jesus that they have forsaken all to follow Him, which seems to be an utterance of pure truth rather than vainglorious boasting.  The Lord Jesus assures His disciple that those who follow Him will surely not lose their reward.  The reward of the disciples, who were specially summoned and commissioned by Christ, will be to sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel; a judgment which shall surely be very severe, considering how thoroughly Israel rejected the Gospel.  But the reward is not just for the apostles of the Lord.  Every person who forsakes family or friends or possessions for Christ’s sake shall not lose their reward, but shall assuredly inherit eternal life.  Those who seek to elevate themselves to the front, to be men of power and prestige, will be last; meaning, I take it, that they will never see the kingdom of God with joy.  Those who humble themselves, willing to forsake everything for Christ’s sake, will be first, and receive all the honors a gracious, saving God can bestow.

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