For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25).
Jesus is using such extremes and the disciples responded exactly as He wanted them to….”“Then who can be saved?” Their response is exactly the message Jesus wants to bring across. A rich man is self sufficient and a camel was the biggest animal in the middle east. To get a camel through the eye of a needle is easier than getting a rich man in heaven. The focus was not money, but self sufficiency. A rich man can look after himself. Humanly speaking, a rich man can fix any problem he had with money. Jesus was trying to show that self sufficiency stand between people and heaven. Only those who are totally lost and realise their need and realise their total inability to save themselves, are those who can be saved. By this story Jesus is showing that a person cannot get into heaven on his own. The best place for a person to be, is at the end of himself, realising there is nothing he can do, he is lost. This was at the heart of the story Jesus was telling about the text collector at the temple. “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luke 18:13).” Only when it is humanly impossible to be saved, can true salvation happen and that is why Jesus was saying: “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
Today it is very popular among people to say you have the ability to choose Jesus. I have heard people say that we have the ability to see our own state of need and sin by our own mind and logic. This is against what Jesus was teaching His disciples. The tiniest form of self reliance is of the flesh and not of God. Salvation is from A to Z, completely a work of God (Jonah 2:9). Even in our response to repent and believe, we can find no ability from us. To respond is an ability God grant through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. People put their trust in their own mind, will and ability. Jesus was showing the disciples it is impossible. The Bible says: “trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Jesus said that the flesh is worth nothing when coming to salvation (John 6:63). Jesus said that no one will be ABLE to come to Him unless that Father grant it and draw a person to Christ (John 6:44, 65). Jesus also said that which originates in the flesh, is flesh and of no use, but that which is born by the Spirit, is life (John 3:6). Paul said that Israel sought the Lord, but only the elect found it (Rom. 11:7). The Bible command people to seek God while He may be found (Is. 55:6). Although this is true, only the elect will find God, because the Holy Spirit enable them to search for Him with their whole heart. The Bible says it is God who works in us to will and act according to His will and pleasure (Phil. 2:13). The Bible also says that EVERYTHING happen according to the predestined purposes of God (Eph. 1:11). The Bible also says that believers are predestined to be adopted as children of God according to God’s own will and purposes. The Bible knows nothing of “I did this”. The Bible only knows “God did it”. In salvation, there is nothing, not the tiniest form of my ability. The Bible says that God did it this way so that it will not depend on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy (Rom. 9:16). Salvation is through grace alone (Eph. 2:8).
The Bible knows NOTHING of man reaching God on his own. Neither does the Bible know anything of man having the tiniest ability to seek, will, desire and understand God out of his own will and mind. Unless God through His choice and mercy grant a person grace by giving him the ability to seek and find God, no one will be able to see and find God out of their sinful state. They are blinded by the spirit of this age and they are deaf. The Bible says they are dead in sin. We are so sinful that we have no desire and will for God, nor the ability to see by ourselves our need for God. People will live ignorant of their state of sin and their need until the Holy Spirit open their eyes to see their own need and sin and to draw them to Christ.