All too often individuals read Scriptures, accept them as truth, but do not think very hard about the point behind those Scriptures. For example, we read this: “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:17-25). After reading that, many will just think about how rich people value their treasures more than their souls and then move on from the point.
When the disciples heard what you just read, this was their reaction: “And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved” (Mark 10:26)? Do you see the fear in their words? They were astonished out of measure. This was the same reaction they had when they saw Jesus perform wondrous miracles even at a time when their hearts were hardened (Mark 6:45-52). Do you see how they just didn’t condemn the rich one who went away sorrowful, but questioned the very possibility of salvation at all? They were weaker than any of us should ever be. They didn’t even fully believe at that point in time (Matthew 28:16-17 and Luke 22:31-32). Yet, they considered what was being said. If we were to consider all that was said in the quote above, this article would be a long series of lessons. We could study about Jesus’ humility (Philippians 2:3-11). We could study about the Father’s goodness (Psalms 52:1). We could study about how keeping most of the word of God is not equal to keeping it all (James 2:10-12). We could talk about many more points and add more depth to each one. The question is, do we consider why Jesus said the things He said? For our study, let’s think about why it is easier for the miraculous passing of a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved?
Are you ready to think? Are you ready to examine yourself in light of the Scriptures we will consider (II Corinthians 13:5)? In our effort to examine the why, let’s not leave it up to me to explain it all. You need to think. You need to consider things.
We read these things: “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God… Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him” (Luke 6:20 and James 2:5)? Why did He make such statements? Why was Lazarus able to enter into Paradise while the rich man suffered in torment (Luke 16:19-31)? Why was Jesus unconcerned about dividing the inheritance of two bickering brothers (Luke 12:13-34)? Why do wealthy individuals trust in their riches and fall away (Revelation 3:14-22)? Read all of those Scriptures and ask yourself, “why?”
Paul told the evangelist Timothy the following things that relate to this study: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses… Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (I Timothy 6:6-12; 17-19).
Think about WHY Timothy was told to FLEE from the desire to be rich (II Timothy 2:1-4). Think about why Timothy was told to charge the rich not to trust in UNCERTAIN riches (Proverbs 11:28). Think about why Timothy was instructed concerning laying up a good foundation rather than holding on to earthly wealth (Matthew 6:19-21).
We are supposed to be invested in things above (Colossians 3:1-4). We are supposed to be looking forward to the coming of Christ (II Peter 3:9-14). The more you anchor yourself to this life and invest in things of this world the less you will be invested in Heavenly things. Think about that and more (i.e. Psalms 49:1-20, Proverbs 23:5, I John 2:15-17, etc.)!