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Matthew 19:23–26

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

This is not the appointed lesson for today.  I chose it because I don’t understand why it was not chosen to go with yesterday’s appointed lesson.  In yesterday’s lesson, Jesus says, “if you would be perfect…”  Then, he gives to the rich young man a suggestion that is very hard for the young man, “sell all your possessions.”

If we depend on our own perfection to be saved, we will all fail.  I have a hard enough time threading the eye of a needle with thread.  I am certainly not a magician that can help a camel through the eye of a needle.  To his disciples Jesus says, “for God all things are possible.”

It is hard for human beings to forgive each other’s failings.  We remember how we have been wronged, or how someone has failed us.  We are slow to forgive and forget.  We are not perfect.  We know that, but we still expect, or at least hope, that others will be perfect toward us.  That is just an unreasonable expectation.  A reasonable expectation is that others will try their best when they are interacting with us.  That is a reasonable expectation of ourselves.

The bottom line is that we all depend on forgiveness.  We depend on God’s forgiving us.  We depend on others forgiving us, and in turn, they depend on our forgiving them.  Our salvation is based on forgiveness, and not on perfection, save for God’s perfection.

PRAYER:  Dear Lord God, forgive me my trespasses, even as I forgive others their trespasses.  Grant me your forgiving spirit so that I can be a forgiving person today.  In your name I pray, Amen.

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