Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for West Side Church of Christ. Feel free to follow along.
As I was reading today’s passage (Matthew 19) two things really struck out to me. Normally I am only commenting on one thing that jumps out, but today I would like to give you two nuggets of insight that I had.
The first section of the reading deals with divorce. I found it interesting that the sections following this were children and money/possessions. The later is something that affects almost every marriage. Every marriage goes through ebbs and flows. Sometimes finances are loose, and other times they are tight. One of the leading issues couples filing for divorce site is money/possessions. It is probably no coincidence the author decided to put that discussion there.
The section on children also followed this discussion of divorce. Who tend to be the most affected by a divorce? It is the children of the marriage. Again there is probably no coincidence the author decided to put that discussion there.
The second nugget I noticed was in the discussion about a camel going through the eye of the needle. The question had been asked “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus tells the rich young man to sell off all of his possessions and then give to the poor. Jesus really does not answer the man’s question. So his disciples ask the question again later. This is when Jesus tells them that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. It is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (We can be confident that this was not a gate in Jerusalem being referenced here like many believe. In Luke’s account he uses a term that describes a needle used in the practice of medicine.).
What Jesus was saying was this, “there is nothing a rich man, or even a poor man can do to gain eternal life. Eternal life is only available through the work of God.” Ultimately we know that work is Christ death on the cross.
As I was putting this together, another thing hit me. No marriage will survive, no matter the struggles…financial, sickness, emotional, family…unless the hand of God is actively involved. So this chapter comes around full circle; a prosperous and successful marriage, must have God as an iatrical part of the equation, and that to gain eternal life, it is the work of Christ on the Cross.