Lesson 53

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

Today's Scripture

10:23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"

10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."

10:26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"

10:27 Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."

Today's Lesson

A rich young man had approached Jesus. He said, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I might inherit eternal life?" Jesus was pleased with the question and stopped and spoke with him a while. He told the young man that first he must live according to the commandments that Moses had given the people at Sinai. The young man naively answered Jesus that he had been doing just that since he was a child. So Jesus, filled with love and compassion for him, told him that one thing more he must do. He must sell everything that he owned and give it to the poor, pick up the cross and follow Jesus. Mark writes that the young man went away sorrowful because he was rich and would not part with his possessions.


As the young man walked away, Jesus told His disciples. "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!" Though the disciples were amazed at the frankness with which Jesus addressed this issue, He repeated it again just to make sure that the disciples knew that He meant what He had said. He told them that it was more difficult for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than it is for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.


Jesus said that those who have riches come to trust in them. A man who is wealthy is more independent of other people. When he has a need or a want, the money provides it for him. Just as the rich man does not need other people, he also develops the mindset that he does not need God either. Jesus had just finished telling the disciples that a man must become dependent like a little child in order to enter the Kingdom. But wealth isolates and insulates us from God. When every desire of the flesh can be readily given into, it becomes all the more difficult for us to maintain our focus on our relationship with God.


They asked Jesus how anyone could be saved in that case. He told them that all things are possible with God. Even a rich man CAN be saved. However, riches and privilege make turning to God less likely. God can break through the barriers and show the rich man the necessity to turn to Him for help. But, wealthy people are less susceptible to the message of the gospel because of all that their wealth can do for them in this life.


What would it profit you if you gained riches and wealth in this world and lost your eternal soul? Would you be willing to trade all that you would ever earn in wealth and privilege to live in God's household?


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