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Easter: The Rich and the Kingdom of God

Scripture:

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.”

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:16-30)

As Christians, we long for the day when we return home and receive the promise of eternal life. As we long for that day when we no longer experience this world’s worries and trials, we may forget the promise of eternal life is a two-way one. It is not something we automatically receive. We must accept it by following God and His word.

In the Bible story, Jesus tells us that it is very hard for a rich man to make it into the kingdom of Heaven. You see, we must work to be more Christ-like in our actions in order to follow Him and truly be a Christian. Jesus does not care about the wealth you have, but rather how you use it to help others.

The man Jesus told to sell his possessions to be perfect was saddened by what Jesus had said. The man did not wish to give away his wealth. Yet, to truly follow Jesus, one must realize our possessions and wealth are not important and can even hinder our spiritual relationship with God.

Now, we are not saying you have to give away all your possessions to be a good Christian. However, it is important to be aware of your possessions and wealth and make sure they are not impeding the relationship you have with Christ.

Are your worldly possessions keeping you from Christ, or are you acting as a steward to the things God has given to you? Understanding that all you have is a blessing from the Lord allows you to use those blessings as God calls you to.


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