18th Sunday of Pentecost
Scripture: Mark 10:25/James 5:3
Why do some rich people think they are going to heaven? Do you think that Jesus was badmouthing them?
Some rich women bankrolled Jesus and his disciples. Thus it seems like it is an unfair guess that Jesus thought kindly of them. One sugar momma was Mary Magdalene, who would be among the first to see the resurrected Lord, along with Susanna, and Joanna.
Joanna’s husband was King Herod’s administrator. We see and read in Luke 8:3, “These women and other women, provided support for Jesus and his disciples.”
Not all-rich people are selfish and spiritually bankrupt, even though there’s a heap of verses that seem to trash the rich because of these reasons.
They wrote laws favoring themselves. They bought off politicians and judge, while today the poor would get public defenders. Rich people underpaid their workers, cheated their customers, and many ignored the poor.
When Jesus said “it is harder for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven than a camel to get through the eye of a needle,” he was referring to the camels’ gate into the city. This gate was much lower in height and narrower in width than any other gate in the city. Traders use this gate because it was closest to the market place. If the camel was heavy laden with a high load, they either had to unload the camel or possibly help him crawl through on his knees.
Jesus here was using an extravagant illustration to drive home his point: Wherever your heart is, is where your treasure is. Is your treasure earthly and heavenly? Both Jesus and James both made this point.
Jesus stated, “Why do you see the sawdust in someone else’s eye and cannot see the wooden beam in your own eye?” Not all-rich people are shut out of the kingdom of God. One such person who entered was Joseph of Armethea. He donated his own tomb for Jesus’ burial. This is a wonderful example of a rich guy with a compassionate heart. Joseph had been a secret follower of Jesus’ earthly ministry, yet he was a wealthy member of a top Jewish council and a member of the Supreme Court that orchestrated Jesus execution!
He came out of the closet when he asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. He wrapped Jesus’ body in clean white linen and laid him in his own tomb. Joseph apparently respected Jesus more than he coveted his relationship with his own colleagues. He put Jesus first and he likely paid a terrible price, diminishing many earthly returns in his earthly kingdom. Joseph lost the respect of his co-hearts, lost his seat on the council, and got a cold shoulder from his Jewish business associates. All his earthly means and assets took a nosedive.
While his was concerned about this, he was more concerned about his relationship with the Lord. It’s wonderful that we seek earthly treasures, but they will not get us into the kingdom of God! There is only one treasure that we need not only for this life but also for the heavenly life. That treasure is a personal relationship with our Lord.
What earthly treasures are you willing to give up or sacrifice for your real treasure, Jesus the Christ?
Let us pray!