A young man came and asked Jesus what he must do in order to gain eternal life. Jesus told him to sell all his possessions, give to the poor, and come follow Him. Because this young man had great wealth, he went away sorrowfully. Jesus then taught His disciples that 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. Confused, Jesus' disciples asked, "Who then can be saved?" The Lord answered that with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Jesus knew the young man had great wealth that stood in his way to the heavenly kingdom. Therefore, He intentionally instructed him to go and sell all his possessions and give to the poor. This was to teach the young man not to be so burdened with material things that he would be unable to follow Jesus.
Thomas Aquinas, a famous theologian of the 11th century, explained that in Jerusalem there is a door called the "eye of a needle." It is a narrow gate, and camels must unload their burdens and bend down just to pass through it. Similarly, the wealthy need to slight their wealth, humble themselves, and seek diligently to enter the kingdom of God.
Search your heart to see whether material wealth is the only thing preventing you from entering God's kingdom. No learning, status, reputation, or pleasure can truly satisfy your soul. These worldly pursuits only make us feel "rich." But do we have true wealth if, possessing all the objects of this world, we give up entering the kingdom of God?
Since it is so difficult, people often ask, "Who then can enter the kingdom of God?" Indeed, our strength is small and our faith weak. Our thoughts often conflict with one another, for we are reluctant to give up the world, and yet we yearn to enter the kingdom of God. We put ourselves through such contradiction.
Jesus said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." If the Lord opens our spiritual eyes, we will behold the glory of God's kingdom. And if we hold such a vision, it will make up for any loss in this world. Once we see the glorious kingdom God has prepared for us, how can we not give up the gleam of this world to shine gloriously in heaven?