"How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (v24). This saying of Jesus surprised his hearers, because wealth was considered a sign of God’s favor. But Jesus stressed that we must approach God humbly, empty-handed, putting no trust in our own righteousness or efforts. Compared to God’s holiness and power, we are all weak and sinful. Jesus celebrated the faith of the humble tax collector (v13), because he recognized his own need for mercy.
When we approach God as children (v16), admitting our needs and trusting in Him, He pours out forgiveness, salvation, and kindness beyond our expectations.