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What Gets In The Way? - Day 23

You have a choice.

You can either read the reflection below or listen to me talk in the video here:










Matt 19:13-20:16

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[d] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


Reflection

So when I first read through this, the question that popped into my head was, “what gets in the way?” This question can relate to a lot of things in our lives, but I would like us to focus on our relationship with Jesus. Sometimes it is people getting in the way, sometimes it is our own unwillingness, and sometimes it is because we don’t think it’s fair. We see all three of these examples in this passage. People were trying to bring children to Jesus and the disciples were rebuking them. The rich young man could not gain the thing he wanted because of his unwillingness to let go of his wealth. In the parable the late workers receive the same pay as the early ones. The thrust of all this is verse 16 “so the last will be first and the first will be last.” The thing we see in Jesus here is that he is generous. He calls the children to his side, he tells the rich young man what is needed, the landowner in the parable pays his workers generously. It is not about position or status, it is about our God who generously gives us what we need. Just as Jesus states after the rich young man walks away, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” It was not impossible for the rich young man to do what was asked of him. What stood in his way was his unwillingness to accept that a life lived in God was richer than any treasure he could possess. The same is true in our relationships. Our envy, our pride, and anything else that leads us to tear our relationships apart need to be laid at Jesus’ feet and  rooted in the knowledge that our generous and forgiving Father calls us to be generous and forgiving as well.


You are invited to pray or to be prayed for. As we learn more about who Jesus is let us then enter into prayer and be shaped by him.



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