Read Mark 10:17-30
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.” (Mark 10:23-25)
“When a man becomes a Christian, he becomes industrious, trustworthy and prosperous. Now, if that man when he gets all he can and saves all he can, does not give all he can, I have more hope for Judas Iscariot than for that man!” ― John Wesley
When I first read the sharp warnings of Jesus about riches the first time, I got up from my desk, ran over to Mom and desperately, half out of breath, asked her repeatedly, “Are we rich, Mom, are we rich?” She assured me that we had nothing to worry about as far as that goes.
The story of the wealthy man who goes away grieving rather than letting go of his possessions and following Jesus can teach us something no matter how rich we are. We may be hiding behind any number of things…the security of our wealth, our position in the community, our insistence that we aren’t good enough, that we can’t possibly meet the demands of the Gospel. Many things can prevent us from coming out of hiding — our fear that the punishment might be too great; images of God as only angry ruler bent on revenge; ideas that forgiveness is all well and good, but can’t possible meet me where I am.
The good news is that in Christ, God comes to us where we are. In Christ, we are found no matter how much or how little we own. We are loved not because of what we own, but in spite of it.