The First Will Be Last
But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. Matthew 19:30 (KJV)
Someone (a rich man) came to Jesus and and asked, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" Jesus replied, "If you want to receive eternal life, you must keep the commandments." The man asked, Which ones? Jesus replied: "You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love you neighbor as yourself." The young man replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments." "What else must I do?" Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me." The young man went away sad, for he had many possessions.
First of all this is not referring to all of those who are rich! This rich man was self righteous and felt superior to others. He stated he had obeyed all of those commandments and still wanted to know what else he could do. Really! Besides this it says he went away sad. This tells us there was no way he was going to sell his possessions let alone give money to the poor. He just turned his back on Jesus and walked away. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10
The rich young man was concerned about his eternal destiny and thought he had to do a good thing to have eternal life. Jesus was trying to tell him if he wanted to do good then follow the commandments. When Jesus told him to sell all his possessions the most important words in this verse are "Then come follow me." I think Jesus was testing his heart. The point Jesus was trying to make was if your possessions are keeping you from following Christ get rid of them. Jesus looks at the heart not possession or how successful you are. Jesus does condemn people because of their wealth, but it is impossible to buy your way into heaven. Those who make sacrifices to follow Christ will receive certain blessings in this life, and more importantly will receive their blessings that will be stored up in heaven.
This is a divine reversal that those are who are first will be last and those who are last will be first. Do you think you are successful by all the possessions or position you have in this world? The way to be successful in this life is to make sacrifices and follow Christ!