Who Then Can Be Saved?


Jesus’s answer to the question is our verse today. The rich young ruler has just been turned away. He seemed to have everything together. Not only had he kept the Law and was blameless, he was also blessed, bearing wealth and possessions. He was what they in those days (and today) a successful man. He was young, wealthy, and good. He was a catch. Jesus considered him, and told him that his path heaven to heaven was blocked by the very things he considered blessed. Jesus told the young man to sell his possessions and follow the Christ. Note that Jesus doesn’t tell every wealthy person this, but every wealthy person whose wealth is a problem could benefit from his counsel.

The disciples are shocked, because the young man has done everything right. They all wished they could be like him. So they are astonished. If such a man isn’t ready for heaven, how could anyone?

Jesus corrects their thinking. With man, salvation is impossible. You cannot earn by your own ability a ticket to heaven. But with God, even salvation is attainable. The key difference, is God involved in your salvation? Or are you trying to earn it on your own?

There’s no need to make this verse try to say more that what this context suggests. It galls me that verses like this are taken out of context and plastered on a Facebook or an Instagram without reference to its origin and a person will think it applies to anything they wish. Taken on its own, this statement is actually false, because not all things are possible with God. There are things like “can God make a rock so big that he can’t move it?” That is a logical fallacy. If God could make a rock, He would have the power to move it. God cannot make a square circle, or a married bachelor. Not all things are actually possible. But whatever is possible to do, God can do it.

But God is also limited in this: He can not commit evil. That is something we can do that God cannot do, because it violates His nature. He cannot lie. He cannot lust. He cannot technically murder (because He has the power to create life, and resurrect, He has the authority to take life, and only extends that authority to us in capital cases). God cannot sin. With God all things are possible, but only the things it is possible for God to do.

Thank you all for reading today. I hope this has been a blessing for you. God bless you and have a great day!

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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