Jesus obviously wasn't a Southern Baptist! Hardly would any church leader turn away a wealthy man--especially in these days of economic instability and spiraling debt due to expensive building programs.
Wealthy people have many friends. Jesus, however, isn't looking for friends, but followers. Wealthy people who trust Him to meet all of their needs, both physically and spiritually, are rare, but they do exist. This rich man doesn't fall into that small category.
Money creates an illusion of omni-competence. For the rich man to give up his riches means that he must be willing to relinquish:
- Friendships - "Wealth makes many friends" (Prov. 19:4; 14:20)
- Temporal security - "The rich man's wealth is his strong city" (Prov. 10:15; 18:11)
- Protection - "The ransom of a man's life is his riches" (Prov. 13:8)
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
- How do the Pharisees treat the healed man?
- What is the Pharisees' greatest concern?
- What does the shepherd/flock narrative teach about Pharisees?
- How do the Pharisees reverse Jesus' and Satan's operations?
- How do Jesus and the Pharisees differ in their treatment of people?
- How do the Pharisees demonstrate that they care nothing for the sheep?
- What divides the listening crowd?
- What is the root cause of divorce?
- How does God view the marriage relationship?
- It is important to understand that in those days men could divorce their wives for burning the toast. And it is important to understand that Jesus' teaching protects women!
- What do the disciples understand about marriage from this teaching (And I don't mean that "it is better not to marry")?
- Why do the disciples prohibit people from bringing children to Jesus?
- What kingdom attitude does Jesus affirm?
- What heart-nerve does Jesus touch in the rich man?
- What does this narrative teach you about riches? the heart?
Money reveals heart issues. Ask the Lord to show you where your trust is placed.