18. One day a certain ruler came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, You’re good…so I ask You…what good thing must I do to be in full possession of eternal life?"
19. Jesus answered, "Why do you question Me about what's good…in fact, why do you even call Me good? God is the only One who is good.
20. If you want to enter the life of God, just practice His precepts…keep His commandments…and you will manifest His goodness in your life. You know them...'You shall not commit adultery'...'You shall not murder'...'You shall not steal'...'You shall not give false testimony'...'Honor your father and mother.'"
21. “That’s it?", asked the man, "That’s all there is? I’ve kept all those commandments practically my whole life, and I’m still not good."
22. When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “Look, if you’re really that serious about manifesting the character of God in your life, you still lack one thing. Go sell everything that you have, give everything that you make from the sale to the poor, and the entirety of your possessions will then be in the Kingdom, and all that you own will be deposited into the heavenly realm.”
23. When he heard this, he became very sad. The idea of selling everything…this suggestion of total abandon…just seemed too extreme for him, especially because he was wealthy, and had a lot of possessions. Jesus’ words not only caught him off guard, they also overwhelmed and depressed him.
24. Jesus looked at him and said, “I tell you, truthfully, it is really quite difficult…extremely hard…for a rich man to become a subject in the Kingdom of God.
25. In fact, it’s easier for a camel to go through that little gate that they leave open at night in the walls of Jerusalem called ‘The Needle's Eye’…the gate that is so low and narrow that a large animal can only pass through it on its knees, unencumbered with baggage...than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
26. For some reason, those who heard this were staggered by these words. They said to Him, “Well, then, if that’s the case, who has any chance of being fit for the Kingdom, at all?”
27. Jesus replied, “Things like this are virtually impossible when only using human strength…but with God’s help, anything and everything is really possible!”
28. Then Peter spoke up and said, "Well, now that you mention it…we may not have had the kind of wealth that that man has, but we’ve left everything that we did have to follow you. What are we going to get for our sacrifice?”
29. "Truthfully, no one who sacrifices home, wife, brothers, sisters, parents or children because of their desire to follow Me, and to manifest the Kingdom-life
30. will fail to get every bit of it back many times over! And this is in addition to the promise of the full blessings of eternal, or ‘now’-life."
31. Then Jesus took the Twelve aside and said to them, "All right...we're going to Jerusalem now, and everything that has been written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled there.
32. You should all know that He will be delivered over to the Gentiles, and they will mock Him, insult Him and spit on Him.
33. They will also flog Him, and then they will kill Him...but on the third day, He will rise again."
34. The disciples weren't able to grasp any of this. Even though this wasn't the first time that He had told them about it, they just had no comprehension...no idea of what He was talking about.
35. But they started out for Jerusalem, anyway; and as Jesus approached Jericho, which was on the way, He saw a blind man sitting by the roadside, begging.
36. When the man heard the crowd that was following Jesus going by, he asked someone what was happening.
37. They said to him, "Don't you know? Jesus of Nazareth is passing by!"
38. Without missing a beat, he called out, "Jesus...Son of David...have mercy on me!"
39. The ones at the front of the entourage rebuked him and told him to shut up, but he shouted even louder, "Son of David...have mercy on me!"
40. Jesus heard him and stopped in His tracks. Then He ordered the man to be brought to Him. When he was brought near, Jesus asked him,
41. "What do you want Me to do for you?" And he replied "Lord...I just want to see."
42. Then Jesus said, "All right, then...receive your sight...your own faith has healed you."
43. And, sure enough, he immediately received his sight and started following Jesus, praising God with a loud voice. When all the people around saw what had happened, they praised God, too.