Todays readings.. 1 Kings 10, Jeremiah 36, Mark 10

“HOW DIFFICULT!”          

    A verse in Mark Chapter 10, today’s reading, says how “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” [v.23]  

   It set us thinking as to what constitutes wealth today?  There would be different answers in different countries!  The young man to whom Jesus said this “had great possessions” {v.22] The previous verses says, “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him”   

   Why did Jesus have that attitude?  Well, from verse 17 we read that this young man “ran up and knelt before him”  and  in the ensuring conversation about  the commandments of God said, “Teacher all these I have kept from my youth “ [v.20].     But the young man admits he has “great possessions” and, when told to “sell all that you have”, he went away “sorrowful.”  Does this mean that if you have few or no possessions and no money in the bank you are going to be in the kingdom of God?   No, it does not! 

   James, in his epistle, writes, “Listen my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom” [2 v.5]  There we see the heart of the matter – “rich in faith” – spiritual wealth and James goes on to say (v.14-17) how we show our faith by how Christ-like we become and  what we do in our lives, our priorities.

   Now back to our question at the beginning – what constitutes wealth today?  We live in a vastly different world to the First Century. The great majority have forms of “wealth” which invite them to occupy their minds with various pursuits day after day. 

   Jesus invited the young man to “come follow meafter he had disposed of his wealth. So, we reason, there are all kinds of things today that can distract us from effectively following Jesus. Yet some of those things, put to the right use, can help us to do that – the internet and emailing being an example.

    There is a theory, that cannot be proved, but is interesting; that the young man did end up following Jesus; he is the one who “sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles feet” [Acts 4 v.37]  So many have forms of “wealth” today – “how difficult” that makes it for us to effectively follow Jesus and truly make him our Lord.