READ: Mark 10:13-31 (esp., v23-31)
- After the man left “disheartened” (the word could easily be translated “shocked”), Jesus words to the disciples are equally hard. The common assumption was that if you had wealth, you were blessed. The Jews had watched as God physically prospered Abraham, David, Solomon and others. They saw prosperity in clear perspective: pro$perity, $u¢¢e$$. Jesus completely undermined their perception.
- Over the years, writers have tried to create a viable explanation. Jesus must surely have meant the gate into Jerusalem was called the “Eye of the Needle”, and if the pack was removed from the camel and the camel crawled on his knees, he could get there. First, there is no “Eye of the Needle” in Jerusalem. Second, if a camel could get in, it would destroy the image Jesus created. His point is clear; you can’t rely on your wealth and still expect to connect with God.
- This is a hard saying for us, too. We all conclude that wealth (at least at a minimal level) is good. We believe that “just a little more” is what we really need. We elevate the Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s of the world. Yet, if we believe Jesus, that would be that God’s blessing was also the very thing that made a relationship with Him impossible. That hardly makes any sense at all. Why would God make His greatest blessing our worst curse?
- Define wealthy. Where do you fit on the scale of wealth?
- Go to http://www.globalrichlist.com/ and insert your annual income. Where do you fall on the global scale? (if you make more than $13,900 annually, you are in the top 10%)
- Why is wealth such a deterrent to spiritual connection to God?
PRAY: Ask God to help you see your financial situation clearly. Pray that as a church we can take issues of wealth seriously. Commit to being a more generous steward.