Saving Grace

All things are possible with God

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” – Mark 10:23-28

Many of us spend our lives chasing after the almighty dollar. Regretfully, we spend much of our good years accumulating what we call a nest egg. Over the years, we worked late into the night and on weekends, without taking a break to rest our bodies. In the pursuit of wealth, we destroy our health. Consequently, sickness creeps up upon us and steals our health.

In retrospect, we may look back in time and realize that the dedication we held to making money probably would have been better spent serving God in His house of worship. During the years of good health, we neglected church attendance and charity.

Our text is a continuation of the account of a rich man who approached Jesus and asked, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” When Jesus referred him to the 10 Commandments, his response was, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” In responding this way, the young man was suggesting that he was perfect.

Consequently, Jesus showed him that he was lacking. “Go sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven.”

Jesus’ instructions to the young man were too much for him. Even though he claimed that he loved God, he was not prepared to make a sacrifice for God. This led Jesus to make the statement, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.”

It is not unchristian or ungodly to accumulate wealth, even massive wealth. God made it possible for those who have wealth to amass it. However, it is wrong when people become so immersed in their wealth that they become selfish and reject the God who gave it to them.

The wealth we receive is a gift from God for us to manage. We are to employ it in this world for the glory of God who has ordered that we share it with the world.

Unfortunately, the rich young man, like many wealthy people today, saw Jesus’ suggestion as too much of a commitment just to inherit the kingdom. He was true to Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Therefore, Jesus made the statement that it is difficult for the wealthy to inherit the kingdom. In making that statement, he was telling his disciples that the rich had numerous hurdles to overcome. These get in the way of their salvation.

Those who have a great value for their wealth in this world will seldom humble themselves and come to trust in Christ. When they set their eyes and their hearts upon the things of the world, it will keep them away from Christ.

Notwithstanding the obstacles the rich face in this world, there is hope for them. Jesus also explained to the disciples that God’s grace and mercy extends to all people, even the wealthy. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they can overcome the difficulties that lie in the way of their salvation. With man, it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God. Amen.

 
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.

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