Did Jesus Condemn Wealth?

To enjoy the kingdom of God and all that He has for us requires total allegiance to Him.  In Mark 10, a rich young man came to Jesus and asked Him a very important question, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  We must pay close attention to Jesus’ response, because it contains a key to enjoying the immeasurable wealth of God’s kingdom.

Jesus first responded by saying, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God!”  From the very beginning of teaching this young man, Jesus pointed him to God…the only One who is good.  This is an important point.  Jesus, as a man, knew who alone was good.  God is the Source of all that is good.

Then Jesus recited the last 6 commandments to which the young man replied, “I have kept all these from my youth.”  Then Jesus responded with a shocker!  He said, “You lack one thing:  Go sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  To this the young rich man was stunned, because he had many possessions, and left Jesus grieving.  Jesus responded by telling the disciples how hard it was for those with wealth to enter God’s kingdom. My question is why?

Is wealth bad?  Is Jesus condemning wealth?  That is what most Christians think, but it is a false doctrine!  Those who believe wealth is bad don’t know God or His word.  The lesson here has nothing to do with wealth or possessions, but EVERYTHING to do with what or who we trust in.  Who or what is our source of rest?

The young rich man’s wealth was not the problem.  His dependence on his wealth and possessions was the problem!  To enter God’s kingdom, we must be like little children.  As though we have nothing yet possessing all things.  Isn’t that how children are?  They earned nothing and don’t own anything, yet the possessions of their parents are all theirs to enjoy. 

When I was a child, I never worried about food, clothing, or shelter.  I didn’t labor and toil to survive.  I depended on my father to supply my needs and I lived a restful life.  This is normal.  For us to enter God’s kingdom, we must be like such children. 

Jesus was trying to teach the wealthy ruler to not trust in his riches, but in God who is the true source of all wealth.  Sadly, the young man did not understand, but left Jesus because he had many possessions that he trusted in.

Jesus told His disciples how hard it was for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.  Why is it hard?  Because tangle riches are easy to trust in.  They are something we can see, feel, and place our confidence in.  As fallen human beings, we don’t like the unknown.  We love guarantees and hate risks.  We cling to the visible and shun the invisible. 

Later the disciple told Jesus, “We have left all the followed you.”  They got it.  They truly did leave all and follow Jesus.  They learned to depend on God as their Source…not their possessions or businesses.  Because they learned the lesson of dependence on God, Jesus said that they would enjoy 100 times more in this life and eternal life as well.  Dependence on God as your Source will reward you more than any amount of toil you go through to produce much less.  This doesn’t mean that we do nothing.  It means in all we do, we trust God to supply all our needs.  We trust Him to bless the work of our hands.

The Lord reminded me of another time in the Bible that the 100-times was mentioned.  It was in Genesis 26 when Isaac sowed seed during a famine and reaped 100-times what he sowed.  This was the same lesson, the lesson of dependence on God, the only one who gives growth.  You see, Isaac sowed seed in an impossible situation.  No person in His right mind would sow in a famine, during a drought.  But Isaac knew God and trusted Him.  He gave what he had (the seed) and his faith in his Source caused the land to produce 100 times what Isaac offered in seed.  This too is a story of dependence. 

Don’t think anything is impossible.  With us alone, yes, things can be impossible.  But not with God.  ALL THINGS are possible with Him; when He is our Source.  Do you want to enter God’s kingdom and enjoy ALL of His riches?  Sell all you depend on and follow Him!

“Remember the Lord your God for it is He who give you the power the create wealth.” ~Deuteronomy 8:18

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