Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In Matthew 19:1-22 we have the requirements of the kingdom, and in 19:23-30, the reward of the kingdom. Matthew 20:1-16 is the parable of the kingdom reward. In this message we shall consider the reward of the kingdom and the parable of the kingdom reward.
Verses 23 and 24 say, “And Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you, it is difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of the heavens. 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 into the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God is used in verse 24 instead of the kingdom of the heavens mentioned in verse 23, At this point, the kingdom of the heavens had not come, but the kingdom of God was present. Hence, the Lord used the term the kingdom of God.
The Lord’s word about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God indicates the impossibility of entering into the kingdom of God by our natural life.
Verse 25 says, “And when the disciples heard this, they were exceedingly astonished and said, Who then can be saved?” The disciples, like most Christians today, confused salvation with the kingdom of the heavens. The Lord’s word to the young man concerned entering into the kingdom of the heavens, but the disciples considered that it referred to salvation. They had the natural, common concept of being saved. They did not grasp the Lord’s revelation concerning entering into the kingdom of the heavens.
In verse 26 the Lord said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” By our human life it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but it is possible by the divine life, which is Christ Himself imparted into us that we may live the kingdom life. We can fulfill the requirements of the kingdom by Christ, who empowers us to do all things (Phil. 4:13).
In verse 27 Peter said to the Lord, “Behold, we have left all and followed You; what then is there for us?” Peter seemed to be saying, “No matter how difficult it is to enter into the kingdom, we, like the camel, have passed through the eye of the needle. Since we have left all and followed You, what is there for us?” Peter’s concept was quite commercial. The Lord answered him, as usual, in a clear, definite way.
The kingdom reward is of two parts. The first part is in this age, and the second part is in the coming age. The first part of the kingdom reward is mainly related to material things and natural things. If, for the kingdom’s sake, or for the sake of the Lord’s name, we leave all these things, the Lord will reward us a hundredfold. In verse 29 the Lord said, “Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit eternal life.” To receive a hundredfold, houses, lands, and relatives, is to be rewarded in this age (Mark 10:30). This refers to the enjoyment of the brothers and sisters in the Lord with their possessions today. I can testify that I have left everything to follow the Lord, including my relatives. I hardly have a friend outside the local church. But I have hundreds of brothers, sisters, and mothers. In the church life we all have many mothers, brothers, and sisters. In a sense, those in the church life love me more than my relatives do. This is a reward. We need to believe the promise of the Lord that if we leave everything behind us to follow Him, we shall receive a reward, even in this age.
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