Again I tell 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.”
Putting a camel through an eye of a needle sounds like an impossible task! That is unless the needle is the size of a building. Will there be no rich men (or women) in heaven? These types of words are among those used by some who say Christianity is just to appease the masses and is otherwise useless. There argument goes like this:
Everyone who is currently poor (often as a result of those who are greedy and rich) would like to believe that the rich won’t be with them in heaven. They have had their rewards on this earth. The Bible has these types of verses to make the poor feel better about being poor.
Others say these words are meant to say show that God can do anything. Even pull a person through the head of a needle. I think the answer to this lies somewhere in the middle. That is, if a person becomes rich treating money as his god and has little or not concept of being their brothers keeper then he has replaced the real God with a worldly item and he has not taken the words of Jesus to heart. Among these type of people are Christians as well as non-Christians. They will definitely discover the error of their ways in the next life. But, then again this is probably one of those verses that will mean something different to me next week or next year. There are a lot of those types of red letters in the Bible. They keep us thinking and studying.
One thought on “The curse of riches”
I think the red letters two verses later answer your question. Verse 25 & 26 read (NRSV):
“When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
No real surprise, God the omnipotent can do this, it’s just that our wealth makes it harder. Nevertheless these and many more red letters tell us that we have got to watch out for wealth and the obsession with it, because it puts a serious crimp in kingdom living. . .