What About The Rich?
What should be known about an anonymous young rich ruler is recorded in the 3 synoptic gospel. Each giving their respective stories about the rich man. Most Christians often have issue with the state of being rich, casting evil eyes on them, seeing them as someone that might not make heaven due to their wealth. The question is does God want Christians to live a life of poverty? Absolutely No! Abraham was wealthy, Moses was not poor either. So we need to have a correct perspective of what God says about the rich in order not to miss His will.
About the Young Rich
He was young and filled with passion. He wanted to do his possible best to be perfect, Mark said
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”Mark 10:17
He set out to know what he ought to do to inherit eternal life. It seems he felt something is still missing despite his efforts to do good. So he came to Jesus. Matthew made us to understand that Jesus gave him a very simple answer and key.
And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”Matthew 19:17
Keep the commandments
Jesus told him point blank to keep the commandments, he wanting to justify himself asked Jesus which of the commandments but he didn’t know the commandants are deeper than he understood it.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 22:37-40
Lack of proper understanding of the commandants made him to think he has fulfilled all of them. God has put eternity in the heart of men, if only man would be sincere with himself and yeild to the promptings of God’s Spirit. The first commandment is what He couldn’t keep that is, to love the Lord his God. This love is deeper and jealous that it doesn’t want a rival. I feel, he thought within himself “how will I make more money after leaving all to follow Jesus?” This isn’t a call to poverty but He didn’t know. So he went away sad. It plainly revealed he trusted in his riches. He wasn’t moved by the promise of treasures in heaven (Matthew 19:21).
Jesus’ comment about the rich
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!Mark 10:23-24
Why were the disciples astonished at the comments of Jesus? Jesus understood their feelings and He explained better in verse 23. I believe the disciples were not poor because had it been so, Peter would have rejoiced about the comments of Jesus but he was otherwise. This shows us that the problem is not in having the riches itself but rather in trusting in it.
To further explain this, Peter asked Jesus what their lot would be after leaving all to follow Him.
who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.Mark 10:30
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 more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”Luke 18:29-30
This, the ruler did not know, that following Jesus is not a call to poverty but a life of abundance even in this present world. His perspective was wrong being blinded by his wealth. God through apostle Paul gave a Christian instruction on how to live as a man who has wealth. Most at times people do not understand the concept of the love of money being the root of all evil. Everyone desires to have money, in a literal term we all love money. But the love of money to the extent in which it has gotten into our heads and we no longer have regard for God, is what is really wrong.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.1Timothy 6:17
God wants us to be rich and not to live a life filled with pity. How can we further the gospel without funds? It is almost impossible. Hence, the reason to have a rich perspective concerning money and being rich. Let us make friends with our resources so that the kingdom of God might need populated.