“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter The Kingdom of Heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter The Kingdom Of God.” Matthew 19: 21-24
In Matthew 19, a young man willing to enter Eternal Life asked The Lord Jesus what he had to do to get into it. All went well until The Lord Jesus asked him to sell his possessions, to give to the poor and then follow Him. What the young man was not able to do because he had great wealth.
The Lord Jesus later declared that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy to enter The Kingdom of Heaven. We all know how hard it is sometimes to get a sewing thread through the eye of a needle, how much more a camel? This is impossible from the human standpoint. But does this mean that all the rich people will not enter The Kingdom of Heaven? What prevents wealthy people from entering The Kingdom of Heaven?
Money and material things constitute a blocking point for wealthy people when they take them as their treasure, make them their priority so that their thoughts and actions are directed towards gain, in order to have more money and material things. However, as The Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 6, we cannot serve both God and money. We will inevitably be more attached to one to the detriment of the other. In the case of rich people, they are often more attached to money than God.
What must rich people do in order to be rich in The Sight Of God?
In His Response to the Young Man The Lord Jesus tells us three ways:
– Detachment: The Lord Jesus asked the young man to sell his possessions because rich people must be able to separate themselves from their wealth. Wealth should not occupy the first place in their lives and hearts. They must be able to use their possessions without taking them as idols, or as their masters; they must be able to separate from them; and they must not be affected to the point of having a stroke, for example, if they lose a part of their wealth.
– Charity: The Lord Jesus asked the young man to give his possessions to the poor because rich people must be able to share their wealth with needy people. Charity is a mark of love of neighbor.
– Following Him : The Lord Jesus then asked the young man to follow Him because rich people must follow Him firmly to enter The Kingdom of Heaven and this can only be done when they have learned to detach themselves from their wealth and practice charity.
My dear Christian friends, we should not let riches take over our hearts to the point of preventing us from entering The Kingdom of Heaven!