That provoked a second question, which immediately followed Jesus’ comments about riches and how many rich people actually inherit salvation. Verse 25 tells us that the disciples “were greatly astonished and they asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’” Now what did they have in mind? Well, one thing they had in mind was that according to most Jewish theology, including in the teaching of the Old Testament, riches were an evidence of God’s blessing.
Yesterday I asked the question: “How would we deal with this rich young man if he were coming to us today?” Well, let me suggest that most of us would reply inadequately, at least measured in the way Christ answered.
Now how do we look at this? I would like to look at it on the basis of three questions that are asked. The first question is the question the young man asked, and we find it in verse 16. He said to him, “Teacher,” addressing Jesus, “what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
In Matthew 19, verses 16 and following, we find the story about a rich young man who came to Jesus. And as we have looked at some of these encounters that Jesus had with various people, so far as we can tell every one of these individuals experienced spiritual changes for the better.
Now if we have any doubts about Peter at this point and think, nevertheless, that perhaps he is the rock, they should be disabused by Peter’s conduct. If Peter’s the rock we’re in trouble, since immediately after this Peter objected to something of central importance Jesus said. Jesus went on to say that he had to suffer and die and be killed and that on the third day he would rise again.
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