Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.( Matthew 19:23-30)
Here it is again. That persistent old camel who knows he has to get down on his knees to enter through the small gate while his owner unloads the side bags to help him get through. It takes a lot of work, persistence and focus on the end goal. But the camel does it. Jesus reminds the disciples though that it is easier for the camel to do than a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of God.!
Did Jesus had a problem with wealth? No. Jesus had several wealthy acquaintances including a tax collector who became a disciple. He did have a problem with the attitude that comes to many who are wealthy. He is saying that to be attached to material things means not having room for God. Just as a mountain climber doesn’t use heavy gear or take a weighty rucksack, in our spiritual climbing of the mountain (which is our intimate relationship with God), we need to be free of anything burdensome.
Our lives sometimes get so pre-occupied and anxious with the accumulation of material wealth and amassing even more that God gets pushed out of life and the one who is Source and Sustainer of all goodness finds no place in our hearts and minds.
Jesus is reminding us that the more we have around us the harder it will be for us to not get used to looking for our security there and trusting God instead. The destiny that God wishes for us is that we should return to Him on the last day where we will receive our reward for the good work we did for Him here on earth. Humility and meekness is the key to serving God and whomever puts himself first before men, will become last in God’s eyes and whoever puts himself last before men, will become first in the Kingdom of God.
That is counterintuitive in a society where so much emphasis is put on achieving wealth. But think about it. How many of us truly revere people who are known only for material achievement? Isn’t it true that we admire and respect those that have lived lives that are centered around making this world better? Some of them were and are wealthy. But what we tell ourselves and our children about are about those whose lives have enriched (no pun intended) the lives of others,
Jesus offers us an incomparable treasure which no money can buy and no thief can steal. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. Material wealth will shackle us, like a bound slave, to this earth unless we guard our heart and set our treasure in God and his kingdom of everlasting life and joy.
Jesus makes us realize that unless we discover, maintain and hold on to the Lord as the Supreme Treasure of our life and consider all other riches and wealth as flowing from His Mercy. Instead of clinging on to worldly wealth, may we cling to the Lord, who alone can help us to find the true meaning of our lives! Instead of holding on to material glory, may we hold on to the Kingdom of Heaven, where alone can we find the perfect peace and happiness!
There is a quote that fits so well here: “A person is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, in order to gain what he cannot lose.”
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you are my only hope. I commit myself to you as Lord and Savior. Help me to become the person you want me to be. Amen”
Jesus offers us an incomparable treasure which no money can buy and no thief can steal. These are the good things that we set in our hearts, the values that we uphold, and the principle of being more not having more. Accumulating much material wealth, on the other hand, is not dreadful unless we guard our hearts and set our treasures on God and His everlasting kingdom.