“The Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages of ages.” - True Christian Religion §791
Kempton New Church

Week 1
Day 1


Luke 18‒19

The Lord Foretells His Resurrection; the Blind Man

Luke 18

18 And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
19 But Jesus said to him, Why callest thou Me good? None is good except one, God.
20 Thou knowest the commandments: Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, honor thy father and thy mother.1
21 And he said, All these I have kept2 from my youth.
22 And when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, One thing is still left for thee to do : sell all, as much as thou hast, and distribute to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.
23 But on hearing these things he became very sorrowful, for he was exceedingly rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he had become very sorrowful, He said, With what difficulty shall they who have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For 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.
26 And those who heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
28 And Peter said, Behold, we have left all things, and have followed Thee.
29 And He said to them, Amen I say to you, There is no one who has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
30 who shall not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come, eternal life.

AE 934:2. ...Works... done by man are not good, but only those done by the Lord with man. But for works to be done by the Lord, and not by man, two things are necessary: first, the Lord’s Divine must be acknowledged, also that He is the God of heaven and earth even as to the Human, and that every good that is good is from Him; and secondly, that man must live according to the commandments of the Decalogue by abstaining from those evils that are forbidden there, that is, from worshiping other gods, from profaning the name of God, from thefts, from adulteries, from murders, from false witness, from coveting the possessions and property of others.

These two things are required, in order that the works done by man may be good. The reason is that every good comes from the Lord alone, and the Lord cannot enter into man and lead him so long as these evils are not removed as sins; for they are infernal, and in fact are hell with man, and unless hell is removed the Lord cannot enter and open heaven. This is what is meant by the Lord’s words to the rich man....

“To sell all that he had” signifies that he should relinquish the things of his religion, which were traditions, for he was a Jew, and also should relinquish the things that were his own [proprium], which were loving self and the world more than God, and thus leading himself. And “to follow the Lord” signifies to acknowledge Him only and to be led by Him. Therefore the Lord also said, “Why dost thou call Me good? None is good except God only.” “To take up his cross" signifies to fight against evils and falsities, which are from what is one’s own.

HH 365:3. In the natural sense the rich are those who have an abundance of riches and set their heart upon them. But in the spiritual sense they are those who have an abundance of knowledges and learning, which are spiritual riches, and who desire by means of these to introduce themselves into the things of heaven and the church from their own intelligence. And because this is contrary to Divine order, it is said to be “easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye,” a “camel” signifying in general in the spiritual sense the knowing faculty and things known, and a “needle’s eye” signifying spiritual truth.

1 Exodus 20:12-16

2 Literally, guarded

Questions and Comments
  1. The Lord came into the world to restore our freedom to inherit eternal life. What are the main things we have to do to receive a place in the kingdom of heaven?
  2. Why did the Lord ask the man, “Why do you call Me good?”
  3. Generally, New Church people do not believe that the Lord meant us to take it literally when He told the man to sell all that he had. What does the Lord mean? Why did He put it this way? Is giving to the poor an important part of the life of heaven?
  4. As people who have access to the Heavenly Doctrine, we may become spiritually rich. How do we use such riches wisely? How might we use them disastrously?
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