This is not an indictment against people with money. In fact, the more I read and study it the more I think it means most of us. We are all rich in comparison to those who are poor.
This could be as much about spirit as physical.
In the story of the rich young man and Jesus the man was captivated and held in bondage to the earth way of living by his stuff.
He was also religious (“All of these commandments I have kept from my youth”).
Matthew 19:23-30 (Amplified Bible) – “And Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you, it will be difficult for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven.”
Religion, pride, and materialism. Three things that will keep the Kingdom of Heaven just past the tips of our fingers.
When Jesus said it’s difficult (not impossible) for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven, it’s a lot more far reaching than the Gates’ and Trump’s of the world. You may just be surprised to find it’s you.
Some see the Kingdom at hand and seize it. Remember Jesus says it is to be taken by violence. Fight for it, even wrestle with God like Jacob did (“I’ll not let you go until you bless me!”). There is a risk you’ll walk funny later but you still want it. You need it.
“Riches” are represented in prideful stubbornness. Jesus always says before we get “This” we must get rid of “that”. Getting rid of something simply means leaving it behind.
There are a great many people striving for the Kingdom but it will always remain just outside of their reach until they leave something behind.
What are your “riches” that Jesus says is making it difficult for you to enter in? You may crave it, you may think you are fully consecrated. I will tell you something. If you are not experiencing the full measure of the glory of His Kingdom living than you have not been made to be uncomfortable enough.
Or you are uncomfortable but you have learned to live with it. If that is the case you will end up forlorn and saddened like the rich young man.
The young man saw something he wanted. It was Jesus and Kingdom of heaven living. Miracles. Wonders. Joys beyond comprehension. It was all worth 1,000 earthly kingdoms and all the wealth that goes with it, but he just couldn’t pull the trigger.
How about you today? No, I mean TODAY! Can you pull the trigger? Can you dissolve your own little kingdom of selfishness, pride, and riches and just simply say “I must have this Kingdom that is at my fingertips or else I will die!”?
That’s what it takes. A decision. Change your life. Go with Jesus or stay with yourself.
Surround yourself with those on a journey, or with those who are woefully stagnated.
I am on a journey. If I have to lose every solitary person around me and go it alone I will do so. But I won’t. There are enough hungry people, enough people fed up with religious ritual, enough people who crave to see the miracles and power of God, who will journey with me.
Are you one of those people this morning?
Then just do it. Cut the string. Reach out your hand. The Kingdom of Heaven is now within your grasp.