01 Mar Stand Back and Be Amazed
According to Hebrew tradition there are 613 laws in the Torah. Three hundred and sixty-five, one for each day of the year, are negative (the don’ts) and 248 are positive (the dos). This does not mean principles were not understood. In Mark 12 after Jesus had responded to a teacher of the law the man said, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” But it is indicative that obedience to law is paramount in the Jewish experience.
Thus the rich young ruler’s question to Jesus, “What must I do to be saved?” Jesus’ response was very traditional. He told the young man to keep the commandments. The young man claimed to have done so all his life but he was still spiritually hungry. After the young man departed Jesus’ comments about how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom led up to this exchange. “The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’”
There it is from Jesus’ own mouth. If it were up to us we would never make it. It is impossible. But He will not leave us despondent and heartbroken. He adds that all things are possible with God. Don’t fail to notice the word “all.” That encompasses the very worst of us. Can God save Hitler? He can and would if Hitler had asked. Stand back and be amazed!