What’s So Bad about Being Rich?

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 10:23-27

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!” (v. 23)

Yesterday’s reading ended kind of sadly. The young man’s face fell and he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus’ response to the man must have surprised everyone. “What’s so bad about being rich?” they must have wondered.

This young man looked like a winner. He was highly respected, rich and successful, and wanted to follow Jesus. Who wouldn’t want a man like that providing the necessary funds for ministry? Apparently not Jesus. The disciples couldn’t believe their ears. Two times Mark mentions that they were amazed at Jesus’ words.

Why were they amazed? Because most people figured prosperity and riches were signs of a good man, a man whom God had blessed. But Jesus was able to discern this man’s true devotion, and it wasn’t to Jesus. It was to money.

Now we all know that money is necessary and useful. But the basic problem with money is that it fixates a person’s heart on this world. As English writer Samuel Johnson once remarked, “These are the things that make it difficult to die.” Jesus’ message, although it has many worldly implications, stretches far beyond the things of this world. His teaching on this points to eternal values with eternal ramifications for our lives now and in the age to come. And money is of no use there. —John Koedyker

As you pray, ask God to help you use your money wisely and to consider the limitations of money.