Daily Lesson for Wednesday 29th of November 2023
Read Matthew 19:16-22. What lessons can we learn from this story, in which, in contrast to Nicodemus, a person did not accept Jesus?
Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler shows just how dangerous a trap wealth can be. Look at these words: “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24, NKJV). This, of course, does not mean the rich cannot be saved, but only that, if these people are not careful, their riches can truly be an impediment to salvation.
In the end, the rich and the poor face the same fate: the grave. This means that the rich are in as desperate need of salvation as is anyone else. Whatever else money can buy, it cannot buy an exemption from death. That exemption comes only as a gift, offered freely by Jesus to whoever will claim it by faith. “ ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live’ ” (John 11:25, NKJV).
Read Luke 19:1-10. What made the difference in this story, in contrast to the one about the rich young ruler?
Zacchaeus responded to Jesus in a way that, unfortunately, the rich young ruler didn’t. Notice, Jesus didn’t tell Zacchaeus to sell what he had and give to the poor, as He did to the rich young ruler. Jesus must have known just how tied to his money the rich ruler was, which was why Jesus said what He did to him. In contrast, though we don’t know all that was spoken when Jesus was in his house, Zacchaeus obviously was convicted by Jesus and knew that he had to make some changes in his life, especially as it related to his wealth.
“ ‘For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’ ” (Matthew 16:26, NKJV). What should these words say to us all?