The story of the rich young man. In it we can hear his desire to follow Jesus. In it we can sense how torn he is when challenged to give away all his possessions. In it we can sense Jesus’ sadness over the man’s condition. In it we can feel great conviction ourselves. The general principle Jesus is teaching is to give away all you can. He tells the man to sell his possessions – those things he more we must trust in God.he owns that he really doesn’t need.
We live in a society that teaches us to be consumers. Society even tries to tell us that it is OK to live in debt, maybe even that it is normal. Our culture values signs of wealth – big paychecks, impressive titles, grand mansions, fancy cars… It is easy to say we are doing ‘well’ simply because of the country we were born in or because God is blessing us. We easily become comfortable with our nice lifestyle. All of this makes Jesus’ words so hard to hear.
Jesus does not say wealth makes it impossible to enter the kingdom, he just says it makes it hard. He says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. But don’t miss the key phrase, “impossible with man.” He reminds us that anything, though, is possible with God. “With God” is the key.
God blesses us in so many ways. He blesses us not so that we can accumulate great wealth but so that we can bless others. We are not blessed so that we can live in excess. It is hard to look at our lives and to decide to prioritize differently so that we can give more away. But it is not impossible. The further we want to push that line, the more we must trust in God. With our trust fully in God, we all will have much to give away. In doing so we bless others and we bring glory to God.
Scripture reference: Mark 10: 17-27