|Mark 10:17-26 |
17 Now when he was going on his way, a man came running, and kneeling asked him, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"2
18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God.
19 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" [Notice! Jesus did not say that you must keep all the commandments; He listed only those that make up the moral core of the Law, which is included in the law that is written on every man's heart, by which all men shall be judged by God, and which has never been annulled or canceled.]
20 Then he said to him, "Master, I have observed all these from my youth."
21 And Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack, go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor,3 and you will have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me ." [To have eternal life, (which is the life of God), we must follow the moral commandments, (the same as the law on every man's heart), give to the poor, and then follow Him. We follow Him by exposing ourselves to hear his commands and then obey them; we deny our will and submit to His commands — that is the cross all men must bear to the death of self, to attain salvation, to attain eternal life. From the Word of the Lord within: "You must have a devotion to the law that is on every man's heart; you must listen; and you must obey."]
22 And he was sad at these words, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of God!"
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said to them, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 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."4
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?" [Notice! Jesus has just linked three events in verses 17-26 that all occur together: 1) eternal life, 2) the Kingdom of God, and 3) being saved, which is salvation. Salvation is to be freed from all sin, even the desire to sin; when you have been saved, you are translated into the Kingdom of God to enjoy eternal life, while on earth and forever.]
4 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. But notice! This is the answer to the question that Jesus posed: "Children, how hard is it for those who trusts in riches to enter the Kingdom of God?" To trust in riches is to love money. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money. Rich or poor can love money. Rich or poor can have little regard for money. Remember, it is written, the Lord will repay what you give to the poor, Pro 19:17; and God loves a cheerful giver, 1 Tim 6:5. You will know that you love money when you struggle to write out a big check to the poor; but take heart, the more you give to the poor, the easier it is because you are slowly transferring your love from money to God. And the more you are building up treasure in heaven — permanent treasure that does not rust or get stolen, or get lost in the stock market. The reason it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven is because he is usually very attached to his wealth, and unless he learns to share very liberally, he will never be able to enter. But a rich man who sincerely seeks God will somehow either learn to give his excess money , (note! not all his money, his excess), away freely, or God will arrange for it to be taken away from him; with God there is a way, for all things are possible.
Many of the ministers today preach the gospel of prosperity; they imagine godliness is a source of financial gain; from such withdraw. God will bless a man with material wealth, but only after he has crucified his selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial; for if he blesses him while he is still living and controlled by the selfish, fleshly, sinful nature, a man would only consume the blessing on satisfying his lusts and pleasures. But after he is dead to the flesh, then God will bless him financially, knowing he will spend his blessing in noble and good deeds to the glory of God.