Monday, 25 May 2015

Money Money Money



The reading in church today was from Mark 10:17-27.

I’m sure you know the story about the rich man who was told by Jesus to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and follow Jesus.

The man just could not do this, and went away sad.

Jesus also says that famous saying about it being harder for a rich man to enter Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

And people have been debating that hyperbole for years. What did it mean? Did Jesus refer to a gate called Needle, or was it a mountain pass which was so narrow you had to unload your camel of what it was carrying, pass the camel through, and then load it again.

In reality, it doesn’t matter.

What’s important is the message behind the hyperbole and the advice to sell everything and give it to the poor.

Did Jesus mean it?

Here’s my take on it – unorthodox as it may be.

I doubt very much if every rich man on earth sold all their property and gave it to the poor that it would make any difference. It would be like putting a snowflake in a burning furnace.

Anyway, it is not physically possible, since if every rich person sold their property, by implication, they would sell it to someone else who would in turn be rich in order to be able to buy it. I’m sure you follow the tautology.

So what did Jesus mean?

He certainly was not speaking against wealth. Wealth creates wealth. It creates jobs and it creates the wherewithal to help others less fortunate than ourselves.

Christ condones, nay encourages, the creation of wealth in His parable about the servants given a gold coin each by their master. When he returned from his travels the master discovered that two servants managed to make their fortune increase whilst the third just didn’t bother. So he rewards the hard-working servants and punishes the other. Luke 19:11-27.

Jesus was teaching responsible wealth. There’s nothing wrong in working hard and amassing a fortune honestly.

As long as we use it responsibly.

Those who are fortunate to have wealth should remember their responsibility to share it with others, and to help others, as best they can. This doesn’t mean sell everything and give it to the poor. It means be aware of those around you who are less fortunate than yourself; and share your good fortune with them.

If you were to sell everything then once it's gone, it's gone - you can no longer help the poor and you may well become poor yourself. What's so clever about that?

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) Jesus does not condemn the rich man for being rich; but for not even realizing, never mind caring, for a poor man starving at his gate.

So there you have it: work hard, be wealthy, but remember others less well-off than yourself.

And wealth does not necessarily mean riches and money.

Some people are wealthy in different ways: wealthy in wisdom and knowledge, wealthy in health and stamina, wealthy in talents and so on.

Those amongst us who are well educated and knowledgeable should not look down on others haughtily and with disdain. Use your knowledge to teach others.

Those who are fortunate to be healthy should remember the sick and if possible visit them or help them as best they can.

Those with talents for music, the arts, sports or whatever should share their talents with others. Imagine the good you can achieve as a sportsman if you visit a school and share a few moments coaching children in whatever it is you do. Or if a musician or celebrity shared a few moments with less talented yet aspiring youngsters. That visit would be imprinted on young memories for life – and may well inspire them to do better and achieve more.

Let’s all look at ourselves deeply and discover what wealth God has given us.

Money, good health, a talent for music, painting, singing or whatever … and let’s share it for the glory of, and in thanksgiving to, God our Creator.

12 comments:

  1. Nicely done, Victor. And you make points I will remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rich. It is so nice to see you visiting me. Looking forward to many return visits.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  2. Great post, Victor. I have always interrupted this passage as a discourse on obedience. Perhaps like Abraham, the willingness to obey would have been all that was truly required--unfortunately the rich man will never know.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe it was just a test of obedience, Lulu. Perhaps Jesus did not mean literally "give up your wealth" but He was testing the rich man. Just like Abraham. God did not really want him to sacrifice his son.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  3. Very good lesson today, Victor. There can be so much good come when others are blessed with wealth of various kinds, if only pointed in the right direction. When pointed at thy self, it can often lead to destruction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too true, Kim. We are all wealthy in one way or another and the trick is to use our wealth, be it money or talent, to help others.

      I don't know what my wealth is. All I know is that the priest laughs at me when I go to confession.

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Hi Victor! I completely agree with you. It's not the wealth that's bad, it's the attitude towards it. The hoarding, not sharing, 'lording it over people' that's bad. We all have a wealth of wisdom in differing things and need to share that as well.
    May God continue to bless us in every way, that we might pass it on to others.
    Blessings!
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you say Ceil, we all have a wealth of sorts. As I said to Kim. I'm trying to find out what my wealth is.

      God bless.

      Delete
  5. Hey Victor #1, I snuck away from Facebook in order to read this post of yours and I'm glad I did cause you always find a way to stick UP for US (usual sinners) and on occasions I'm tempted to believe you... Long story short, I've always believed that Jesus meant every word He said or else and "I" say this will all the respect that all my reality spiritual cells can muster and that is.... Jesus would not have joked with any of us if we asked Him a direct question and this guy asked Him from the heart what he should do... We must remember that "IT" is not easy being the Only Begotten Son of GOD (Good Old Dad).... Longer story shorter... Jesus was not talking about all of us unless we were thinking what this man was thinking about GOD.... Remember that this was a good man and maybe he really wanted to know what He had to do to be equal with The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.... "I" mean GOD... Anyway no real man can live on 'Faith' alone unless that Faith comes from "THE FATHER" Right?...

    I hear YA! Until your next sermon sinner vic! "I" mean Jesus did also say... "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

    "To obsolete" or not to obsolete.... that is the question... or is "IT" just a verb? I better start closing by saying that "IT" is not easy to follow Christ... we gods asked Victor Savard in 1964 but back then he had other plans....

    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cannor/northbay/acs/1964/081.htm

    I better close with a little borrowed humor... lol :)

    A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and says, "What is this, some kind of joke?

    God Bless you and yours

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is difficult to ascertain what Jesus really meant, or what He said. Was it a test of obedience, as Lulu suggests? Does Christ really mean we should all give up everything? This man had family and possibly servants too. Did Jesus mean he had to leave his family with nothing and fire his servants?

      God bless.

      Delete
  6. I guess there's a LOT of possibility and all we can hope is that when we get to Heaven God will answer all our questions but then again The Angels who we're created before MAN never got all their questions answered and GOD allowed them to hang around The Garden giving some animals a chance to corrupt Eve... Between you and me....there's no figuring GOD (Good Old Dad)....Right? ....

    Thanks for your warm and kind answer.... God Bless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe me, God knows what He is doing.

      May He bless you and yours always.

      Delete

I PRAY FOR ALL WHO COMMENT HERE.

God bless you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...