Through The Eye Of A Needle


As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up to him (175).   He knelt before Jesus, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to receive life that will continue forever in heaven?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No man is truly good.  Only God is truly good.”

Then Jesus continued, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery.  Do not steal.  Do not accuse anyone falsely.  Do not cheat.  Respect your father and your mother.  Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'”

“Teacher,” the man interrupted, “all my life, I have obeyed all these commandments.”

Looking directly into his eyes with love, Jesus replied, “You need only one more thing. Sell everything you have & give the money to the poor; for this, you will receive an abundance of riches in heaven.

“And when you are no longer dependent on, enslaved by, or addicted to your worldly wealth, then you may come & follow me.”

needle 2

When the man heard this, he went away very sad, because he was very rich & he was unwilling to part with his worldly wealth.

Jesus looked around at his students and said to them, “It’s really hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God.”

His students were shocked, especially when Jesus repeated, “It’s really hard to enter the kingdom of God! It’s actually harder for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God, than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle!”

Holy Spirit, please help us to love giving up all for the glory of the LORD.

(175) Matthew 19:16-24, Mark 10:17-23, Luke 18:18-25

Learn From Children


Another time, some people brought children to Jesus for him to lay his hands on them & bless them (174).

But Jesus’ students started scolding those people for doing this.

When Jesus noticed this, he was angry with his students & said to them: “Let the children come to me, and don’t stop them.  God’s kingdom is intended for them, too.

trust & obey

 “In fact, unless you receive God as your king with childlike faith, you will never enter God’s kingdom.”

Then Jesus began taking the children in his arms & blessing them.


Jesus, please help us to love trusting You with childlike faith.

(174) Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17

A Match Made In Heaven


When Jesus finished teaching these truths about God, he left Galilee and went into the territory of Judea on the east side of the Jordan River (173). Large crowds continued to follow him, and he continued healing their sicknesses.

Once, some Pharisees came to Jesus & tried to trap him into saying things for which he could be condemned.  They asked him, “Does our law allow a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”

Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read that in the beginning God made people male and female? And God also says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father & mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one.’

marriage triangle

“So, in God’s eyes, they are no longer two individuals but one union. And no man may separate what God has joined together.”

The Pharisees pressed him, “Then why did Moses record in the law that a man may give his wife a divorce notice & send her away?”

Jesus answered, “Moses gave you permission to divorce your wives because you’re so hard to teach & so slow to learn.  But that wasn’t the case at the time of creation.

“What God originally intended about marriage means that any man who divorces his wife, for any cause, commits adultery (or sexual cheating) when he marries another woman.  In the same way, any woman who divorces her husband, for any cause, commits adultery (or sexual cheating) when she marries another man.”


Jesus’ students asked him privately, “If that’s God’s idea of marriage, isn’t it better not to marry?” Jesus answered, “This teaching doesn’t apply to everyone, but only to those whom God has called into marriage.

“Some people shouldn’t marry because they cannot live in marriage as God intended – either because they were born that way, or because people made them that way, or because God calls them to be singly dedicated to the spread of God’s kingdom.

“But anyone who is able to live in marriage, as God intended, should definitely do so.”

LORD, please help us to love living as You intend, regardless of marital status.

(173) Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:1-12

Just Humility


Jesus also told this story, aimed at religious people who were sure of their own goodness & contemptuous of everybody else (172).

“Once there were two men who went up to the temple to pray: one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.

pharisee & tax collector 1

“The Pharisee stood up front & prayed, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, not dishonest & not an adulterer — like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector back there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.’

“But the tax collector stood at the back & wouldn’t even raise his face to heaven.  Instead, he beat on his chest and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, for I know I am a sinner!'”

   pharisee & tax collector 2

Then Jesus said, “The tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was restored to a right relationship with God that day.

“Everyone who tries to make himself look great before God will be humbled before God, but everyone who humbles himself before God is great forever from God’s perspective.”

LORD, please help us to love admitting our need for Your mercy.

(172) Luke 18:9-14

Just Faith


Then Jesus told his students a story to teach them that they should pray persistently & never become discouraged (171).

“Once there was a certain judge, who had no respect for God or for any man.  There was also a widow in his town whose rights had been violated in a particular dispute.  She kept coming to the judge, pleading for her rights & saying, ‘Help me against my opponent!’

unjust judge

“For a long time this judge tried to ignore her.  But at last he said to himself: ‘I’d better make sure this woman gets her rights. Otherwise, she’ll pester me to death!'”

Jesus continued, “If an unjust judge will do that, isn’t it all the more certain that our good God will answer prayers for the good of his people?  If you pray persistently for his help, God will not be slow to help you; he will answer for your good & he will do it quickly.

prayer ten boom

“But when I return to this earth, will I find any people who have that kind of faith in God?”

LORD, please help us to love persistently seeking You.

(171) Luke 18:1-8

We Don’t Know When, But We Do Know Where


Some Pharisees came to Jesus & asked him when the kingdom of God would be established in the world (170). His answer was, “The kingdom of God won’t be established in the world. The kingdom of God can only be established within your hearts.”

Kingdom of God

Then Jesus said to his students, “The time will come when you will wish you could physically re-live these days we’ve spent together, but you won’t be able to do that. Some will even say to you, ‘Look, Jesus is over there! Look, Jesus is over here!’ But don’t believe them.

“When I do return to this earth, everyone will know it, just as everyone sees lightning flash across the sky & light it up from one side to the other.


“But before that day, I must suffer much & be rejected by the people of this day.

“The time of my return will come unexpectedly, as the flood came in the time of Noah; everybody kept on eating & drinking, and men & women married, right up to the very day when Noah & his family went into the ark.  Then God released the flood that killed everyone else on earth.

“Or you can look at it this way.  The time of my return will come as unexpectedly as it was in the time of Lot. Everybody kept on eating & drinking, buying & selling, planting & building. But on the day Lot left the city of Sodom, God rained fire & sulfur down from heaven that killed all the remaining residents of that city.

“At the time of my return, a man who is outside his house – on the roof or in the field — must not go back into his house, even for a minute. Remember Lot’s wife!

“If you try to save your physical life on earth, you will lose your spiritual life in heaven.  But if you will lose your physical life on earth for me, you will save your spiritual life in heaven forever.

“So, at the time of my return, two people may be sleeping in the same bed.  Because of their choices regarding physical life & spiritual life, only one will be taken while the other will be left behind.

“In the same way, two women may be grinding meal together; only one will be taken  while the other will be left behind. Or two men may be working in the field; only one will be taken while the other will be left behind.”

His students asked him, “Where will this happen, Master?”


Jesus answered, “Everywhere, in the same way that vultures gather over dead bodies everywhere they find them.”

LORD, please help us to love waiting faithfully for Your return.

(170) Luke 17:20-37

Attitude of Gratitude


Before going back to Jerusalem, Jesus continued his preaching tour outside Judea (169).

He came to a village on the border between Samaria and Galilee, where he was met by ten men suffering from leprosy, a dreaded nerve & skin disease. These men stood at a distance & shouted, “Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!”


Jesus said to them, “Go & let the priests examine you.”  In desperate faith, the ten men obeyed.  As they went, their leprosy was cured along the way!

One of them, a Samaritan, when he realized that he was healed, came back to Jesus, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself on the ground at Jesus’ feet & thanked him over & over.


Jesus spoke to his students, “There were ten men who were healed. Why is this foreigner the only one who came back to give thanks to God?”

Then Jesus said to the man who had been healed, “Your faith & your attitude of gratitude have brought you total healing – not just physical healing for your body, but spiritual healing for your soul as well.”

LORD, please help us to love being grateful for all You do.

(169) Luke 17:11-19