Study Guide

Gospel of Luke Chapter 18:18-34

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Chapter 18:18-34

How To Think About Possessions—In Case You Missed It

  • A person with a lot of political clout addresses Jesus as "good teacher" (18:18) and asks what he should do to live forever.
  • First things first: Jesus doesn't get why this politician's calling him "good" when only God is good.
  • But he answers him anyway. He reminds the politician that the commandments are clear enough, and he cites five of the big ten just as they are found in Exodus 20:12-16 and Deuteronomy 5:16-20.
  • The politician thinks that's pretty easy. He's done all that since he was a kid. But Jesus has a few more to add.
  • The politician should sell all his possessions and give them to the poor. Then he'll be in for a big bonus on heavenly payday.
  • Oh, and then he needs to follow Jesus.
  • Uh-oh. The politician is upset. He's got a lot of money.
  • Jesus notices and remarks, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" (18:24). Answer? It's so hard, a camel has an easier time passing through the eye of a needle.
  • So… impossible?
  • Not quite. Jesus points out that for God at least it's possible.
  • Peter reminds Jesus that he and the other disciples have done exactly what Jesus wants. They've left everything. It's true: rewind to 5:4-11 and 5:27-28.
  • Jesus responds that the best investment is leaving house, wife, brothers, parents, and children for God's kingdom. Do that and you're in for a huge return on your investment even in this present age.
  • And in the next age you'll live forever.
  • Jesus takes the twelve aside in order to remind them what's about to go down in Jerusalem. Everything the prophets wrote about the Son of Man will come to pass.
  • He'll be betrayed to non-Jews, mocked, maltreated, dripping wet from the loogies people will hock at him, whipped, and killed. But he'll rise on the third day. We feel like we've heard this before (recall 9:22, 44 and 17:25).
  • But guess what? The disciples don't get it.

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