Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mark 10, 17-31: The Rich Man

I think I've mentioned that I've been making my way through the New Testament.  I started with Matthew, and now I'm on Mark.  My goal isn't to read it quickly just to say I did, but rather to really focus on quality, spiritual reading so that I may learn and understand certain messages.

Last night, I ran across the story of The Rich Man.  This is the story where a rich man approached Jesus and asked the question, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus replied a few sentences later to the man to "sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven."  This made the man sad as he had many possession and Jesus told his disciples, "It is easier for a camel to pass through [the] eye of [a] needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."  What a powerful message this is to hear.

This doesn't mean that a rich man can't enter heaven, but it does suggest that many of us get too attached to worldly possessions and the idea of such possessions, and even Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 that "no one can serve two masters. . . You cannot serve God and mammon."  These two sections of Sacred Scripture in Mark and Matthew invite us all to think about what is most important in life, and why we are here on Earth.  It is not, and should not be, to collect material things.  We are put here to glorify God, and we do that by loving our neighbor and by helping those in need.  If we are worried about being rich and having the nice new car or the new house or the latest, trendy clothes, how can we focus on what matters most?

I am guilty of these things myself.  I have tried to succeed in the corporate world just to be "successful", I've wanted to give "more" to my family and not make them "want" anything while occasionally treating myself to nice "stuff", and yet I haven't looked around enough to make sure I'm doing those things that make God happy.  I'm working to change this, but praying over these passages in the Bible helps me understand I have a long ways to go.

God, help all of us understand how to serve you more faithfully and not become a slave to mammon!  Amen.  

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