These three chapter describes the different places that Jesus went for his ministry, eventually arriving at Jerusalem.
Here are some of my thoughts on this passage:
Marriage – Nowadays marriage seemed to be stripped of its sanctity it once had when instituted by God. People resort to divorce easily when they face some difficulty living with their newly wedded partner. It seemed to provide a way of escape & opportunity for trial and error when difficulty sets in, until they find a “perfect match” for themselves. But the bible tells us that during marriage, man and wife are joined as one.
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Divorce will therefore be tearing one half of body away, imagine the pain it cost to both parties, especially mental scars. Therefore let us keep what God has blessed and live peaceably with all man, bearing with and learning from one another.
Jesus then met a rich young ruler that seeks eternal life but are unable to give up his great possession on earth.
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, 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.”
We tend to make promises easily to God when we are in deep suffering just so that we may get out of it quickly. These promises we make in haste may often be forgotten when we are living in comfort.
For me, sometimes it is hard to keep promises that pertains to basic things like reading the bible and praying daily. They seemed hard to keep when we can do many other leisure things in our comfort. But, let us be reminded so that we do not let our riches be a stumbling block to our faith. Let it instead be a platform for us to draw near to our heavenly Father such as using our riches for church work or simply using the extra time we have aside from work to spend time with God, building our treasures in heaven. Most importantly, let us not esteem the importance of wealth more than our faith lest we be serving two masters – mammon and God.
Labourers in the Vineyard
Lastly, I’ll like to share on the the parable of the labourers in the vineyard from chapter 20.
Sometimes things may lose its beauty when compared to another. Excessive comparisons can be quite a dangerous water to tread in because for eg, a thing that is once a grace bestowed on us may no longer be so when we see only the lack of it and not the fullness of what is given to us. The labourers were initially standing in the marketplace jobless (“standing idle in the marketplace”) and they were given the opportunity to allow them to earn some money for livelihood. Though it may really be unfair for some to work harder to earn the same amount of money, but comparison made them forget the initial grace the landowner gave them – giving them a job.
Sometimes we are like the labourers. God has given us the chance to know and believe in Him. This is a grace freely given to us, no matter who we might be. Do we treasure this blessing of salvation or we have already forgotten it in our journey of faith? Have we start comparing with others the amount of church work we have done for God and how much blessing we should receive in return? Comparison in a negative sense takes away our sense of contentment especially when we are put in difficult situation while others may seem to be living a good life. We may seem to work harder than others, but elder James reminds us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1Tim 6:6). We are all not worthy of His grace, therefore, let us not throw away our contentment and be constantly grateful for the salvation grace bestowed upon us.