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The rich find it hard to get in

If you’ve seen the movie ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ you probably remember the song ‘If I were a rich man’.

Have you dreamt of becoming rich? Well, here is what Jesus had to say about rich men.

Mt 19:23 And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Mt 19:24 "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

As an aside, from Mt 19:23 and Mt 19:24 we see the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are the same thing.

Did you notice that Jesus repeated His statement? Very rarely do we find Jesus doing that! If we don’t get His point even after His repetition, we need to be concerned and ask whether we have ears to hear.

Mk 10:23-25 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "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 a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Lk 18:24-25 And Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Lk 18:29-30 29 And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life."

Those who aspire to enter and remain in the kingdom of God and have really understood this truth don’t desire to become rich. This is because they understand that if they are rich then it will only make it hard for them to enter the kingdom of God.

We saw earlier that the kingdom of heaven was promised to those who love God. Jesus was clear that if you love God then you will hate mammon.

Mt 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

Lk 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

So there you are – it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven because if you love riches then you hate God, and the kingdom of heaven is promised to those who love God, not to those who love mammon.

Paul understood this, and this is why he reminded us that those who desire to get rich wander away from the faith.

1 Tm 6:9-10 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Let’s be thankful for the material things that God has given us but let us focus on pursuing true riches.


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