Matthew 19:23–30: With God All Things are Possible

by Mar 4, 2024Premium, The Gospel of Matthew

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As the rich young man walks away from Jesus’ invitation to follow him, Jesus must help his disciples understand what they are seeing. Why would someone walk away from the prospect of following Jesus into eternal life? In Matthew 19:23–30, Jesus explains that covetousness can choke out our faith as we begin to trust in our wealth in two ways: (1) as a source of comfort, protection, and safety in this world, and (2) as a sign of our assurance of God’s love for us. Jesus cuts across these ideas by insisting that money does not function the way that they think it does, since money actually makes saving faith harder to cultivate. While it may be impossible for us to avoid the ensnaring love of money, Jesus also offers an important promise: with God all things are possible.

Discussion Questions

1. Why does wealth cause such a great “difficulty” for entering the kingdom of heaven (v. 23)? Does this mean that wealth is, in itself, a disqualification from the kingdom? How great is the difficulty, then, in light of Jesus’ comparison to the relative ease by which a camel may pass through the eye of a needle (v. 24a)? How might Jesus’ reference to the “kingdom of God” suggest something about how offensive idolatry to money is (v. 24b)?

2. Why do you think that the disciples might have thought that rich people were more likely to be saved (v. 25)? In what ways do we similarly see riches as a sign of God’s favor today? In what ways, though, do we see different ideas in our culture in ways that distrust wealth? How does our culture influence the way that you think about wealth? What does Jesus see as he “looks” at your heart regarding wealth (v. 26)?

3. What do you think Peter’s heart and intentions were when he asked Jesus what the disciples will have after having left everything to follow Jesus (v. 27)? What does Jesus promise about the wealth and power of the disciples in the future (vv. 28–29)? What kind of reversal does Jesus suggest in v. 30? Who are the first? Who are the last? How do these promises shape the way that we evaluate the standing of ourselves and others?

4. Where do you struggle most in regard to your wealth and material possessions? Do you crave what you do not have? Do you fear to lose what you do have? What has confronted you most about wealth from Jesus’ teaching in this section and the previous section? How might your giving become a practical way to fight the temptation to covetousness? How do material sacrifices require you to trust God to provide for your needs?