What changes when you are called to the Lord? Or what is it that SHOULD change when the Lord calls a person to Himself to become a Christian?
There are many different thoughts and ideas on this matter and some people presume or even expect that there will be a huge change in their lives. But there does not have to be or need to be a lot of change in how you live or where you live.
Certainly there will be some changes but not as many as people may think. This particular section of scripture shows us that the amount of change is not necessarily as great as people might presume, and it is worth considering because knowing it can relieve a lot of pressure on you as a Christian.
There are a lot of really good scriptures in the Bible…well ALL of them are actually! But, every now and then you come across something so profound, yet so simple, that it will just blow your mind.
These few scriptures are one of those sections.
These few words include a statement that is so powerful it drives to the core of why Jesus came, what Christianity and the new covenant is all about. It tells us why he came, what the purpose of His coming was for and the promise that only He is able to deliver.
Get this and you get it all. Understand these most important words and everything in the bible falls into place.
In this section of scripture we see food for thought and food for life. The bible is full of food for thought and there are many stories, parables, analogies and teachings where food is used as a metaphor for spiritual learning. Here Jesus speaks in more direct terms about food, and in particular the food for life. He gives us insight to understand what our food priorities ought to be if we are to find life eternal.
As we study the scriptures there are often the obvious lessons that can be seen, but now and again we see some less obvious teachings. There is one such lesson in this section of scriptues. There were a number of times in the scriptures where Jesus healed or ministered to people and attached conditions to the word. We see a situation such as this in this section of the scripture. The Lord healed a man who had been paralyzed for thirty eight years (as discussed in my previous post) but after the healing he attached a condition to his work.
Sometimes when I read the scriptures there will be one word that just seems to jump out at me. Usually it offers a deeper layer of insight or illumination that I had not previously had. I had that experience a couple of days ago while reading this section of the Bible. I read the RSV and the word that hit me was in Verse 34, which says, “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare.” The word that struck me in this section was “dissipation.”
The expression that something is like a camel through the eye of a needle is meant to show the impossibility of the thing under discussion. The likelihood that you could ever get a camel through the eye of a needle is so implausible as to be laughable. It is the height of impossibility and improbability.
However it also becomes sobering when you look at it from the Lord’s perspective. When He uses this phrase it is worth listening to because when the Lord describes something in these terms, and when we see what it is he is describing, we need to re-evaluate many of the things that are considered desirable and change our priorities.
The warning in this scripture is quite a difficult one for many people in this world. It flies in the face of human wisdom, which is not unusual because God’s wisdom is different to human wisdom. But this particular saying in Verse 33 is a bit of a puzzle and it has quite a kick, so let’s have a look at it.
There are several messages in this section of scripture and I will cover only one aspect at this time. Quite a few times I have written about the need to get your priorities right. When Jesus taught this message that you cannot serve God and mammon, he was saying it again, but with a twist. There is an even stronger message than just priorities contained in this section of scripture and to enter God’s kingdom it is a lesson we need to learn.
When you talk to Christians you get the feeling that it won’t cost you a thing to become a Christian. But is that right? Is there no cost at all to following Jesus? That is what this scripture is teaching us and the answer for some Christians might be quite surprising.
Picture this. You have a really big occasion coming up. Something really important to you and so you decide to throw a big celebration party. You invite all your friends to join you as you celebrate and then wait for the RSVP’s to come in so you can plan seating, catering and so on. And you wait…and wait. As the big day approaches you start getting nervous wondering why there have not been many responses, so you start contacting the invitees and you start getting excuses. All kinds of reasons why they can’t or won’t attend. And how do you feel? This is your big celebration and its important and they are supposed to be your friends!
Well guess what. Your walk with God could be a lot like this too. You have been invited to God’s big celebration so make sure you send back the RSVP promptly!