Daily Bible Reading - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society

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Jesus said: “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Mark 10:24-25

Sunday 26 March

There is a widespread disease in our society which is known as affluenza. It is the belief that peace and contentment can only be found in life by becoming increasingly wealthy. It is in fact not a new disease at all. The disciples were shocked by Jesus’ teaching that riches were a massive obstacle in the way of anyone becoming one of his followers. Jesus had just met a rich, young ruler. He seemed to have everything. On the surface, he had every advantage in life. But when Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, he went away sad. It wasn’t the answer he wanted to hear.

In our verse today Jesus addressed his disciples as children. He didn’t often use that expression - it suggests that he was reaching out to them with great gentleness and compassion. He could see how much they were struggling with his teaching about wealth. They had been brought up with the belief that wealth was a sign of God’s blessing, so the thought that it was a huge obstacle to following Jesus was a new way of looking at life. Jesus was saying that wealth will never get you a ticket into his kingdom. The only way to find salvation is through depending entirely upon God and throwing ourselves upon his mercy.

Jesus was never opposed to wealthy people following him and, clearly, many did. Through the centuries, the Church has been blessed by the presence of many rich people. But not one of them has obtained salvation through their wealth. It cannot be done. The only way into the kingdom is by us all recognising our spiritual poverty and coming to the Lord with empty hands, eager to receive his gift of new life.

In what way do you think it is particularly difficult for a rich person to follow Christ?

Loving God, help me never to allow anything to get in the way of following you. Amen

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