"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." ~ Mark 10:25
Boy is this a hot button topic! There are those who look at this scripture and say, "See... a person cannot have wealth because if he does, he will not go to heaven!!!"
When we see a passage like this, the first rule of thumb in Bible interpretation is to look at it in light of other scripture. What does the rest of the Bible say about wealth?
So let's check it out...
Proverbs 3:16 ~ Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor.
Proverbs 3:9-10 ~ Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.
2 Corinthians 9:10 ~ Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
2 Corinthians 9:8 ~ And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything; you may have an abundance for every good deed;
Psalm 35:27 ~ Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; and let them say continually, “The Lord be magnified, who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”
Proverbs 10:22 ~ The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.
Malachi 3:10 ~ “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”
Deut. 8:18 ~ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
And there is a long list of more scriptures that talk about the prosperity of God's people.
Here's the scoop...
When we look at the eye of the needle scripture in light of the many, many scriptures that talk about having wealth, then we can conclude that the scripture is not talking against wealth. So it must be something else. The answer is found in the context of the statement.
Jesus was talking to a rich young ruler who was asking him about how to inherit eternal life. The young man refused to give up his riches and follow Him. This told Jesus that he was tied to his money and did not want to be tied to Him. There is no salvation without Jesus. The young ruler was TRUSTING in his riches. That word is the key to understanding this whole teaching.
If we back up one verse, it says, "Children, how hard it is for those who TRUST in riches to enter the kingdom of heaven."
It was wasn't the money that was the issue. It was the fact that he TRUSTED in his money rather than trusted Jesus. It is impossible to go through an eye of a needle with a large object and likewise, it is impossible for a man who TRUSTS in his money rather than God, to enter heaven.
It interesting to note that Jesus talks about giving back to us MORE after we pledge our lives to Him. He wants to give us a hundred-fold... in THIS lifetime and in the life to come. (verse 30)
Human achievement cannot attain salvation... only God has the power to bestow it, based on our giving our hearts and lives to Christ...
~Pastor/Teacher Kim ©Words To Heart Ministries, Inc. God’s Healing Power Radio Ministry. Kimberly Lemler Ministries. Kimberly Lemler. 1993-2019