THE SERVANT GENERAL
NO ONE IN NEED
ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Today’s gospel: Mark 10:17-27
hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom
of God!” (v.23). Jesus said this right after and in
response to the incident of the rich man. Notice that the
rich man was a good godly man. He earnestly sought how “to
inherit eternal life” (v.17). He observed the commandments
from his youth (v.20). But when told to sell all that he had,
give to the poor, and then follow Jesus (v.21), “his
face fell, and he want away sad, for he had many possessions.”
are wealth and possessions seemingly opposed to living a full
life of faith and entering fully into the kingdom of God?
There are a number of reasons.
you cannot serve God and mammon; you will end of loving one
and hating the other. Thus attachment to wealth and possessions
is always a threat to love for and devotion to God.
wealth results in pride, self-reliance, and even conformity
to the ways of the world. Are not rich people the hardest
to evangelize? That is because they think they have no need
of God, since they can just rely on themselves. On the other
hand, are not the poor much more open to the gospel? That
is because they have nothing else but God.
trying to preserve wealth and even expand possessions can
drive one into greed, and even unethical or unjust business
practices. One can be led to focus on building bigger barns.
One is sucked into living a profligate lifestyle.
it becomes more difficult to give a full tithe back to God,
thereby making one a bigger thief who robs God.
it becomes much more challenging to be a faithful steward,
entrusted by God to manage His resources. One gets to spend
more and more on himself, and less on others. One unwittingly
becomes a party to social injustice. Others who do give part
of their wealth away, give it to anti-family and anti-life
causes, such as what is being done by many liberal western
billionaires. They actually use God’s money against
we can see why Jesus spoke so emphatically about one who is
rich. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the
eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom
of God.” (v.25). Our reaction would be like the disciples
who were exceedingly astonished as we ask, “Then who
can be saved?” (v.26). Then who among the rich can be
saved? Then who among those who have wealth and many possessions
can be saved?
How then does the rich man make it into the kingdom? Well,
first of all, when asked what one must do to inherit eternal
life, Jesus pointed to the commandments (v.17,19). It is not
that the rich cannot enter the kingdom; it is just much harder
for them to enter.
we need to know that aside from the reality that mammon is
a serious threat to our life in Christ, there is more to such
life than just making it to heaven. Thus, seeing how sincerely
the rich man wanted to inherit eternal life, Jesus pointed
him to the higher path. “You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will
have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (v.21).
Selling what he had would deliver the man from any conflict
between God and mammon. Then he could wholeheartedly follow
Jesus and give him his all. God always wants to lift us higher.
since God calls us to holiness and Christian perfection, we
must know that such is impossible for us, with our weak human
flesh, with the allure of the world, and with the constant
temptations and attacks of the evil one. “Children,
how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!” (v.24b).
How then can we be saved? We turn to God. “For human
beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible
for God.” (v.27). We embrace His way of life. We put
our faith, trust and hope in Him.
Jesus’ words to the rich man are also for us. We also
“sell what we have.” We live in a spirit of detachment.
We recognize we are mere stewards of “what we own.”
We spend less for self. We live a simple
lifestyle. We choose God and not mammon. Then we “give
to the poor.” We love and serve the poor. We share our
resources with those in need. We look to giving more
for others. All these are so that there will be enough
for all, so that there will be social justice. Then
we “will have treasure in heaven.” Then we can
truly follow Jesus, all the way to the Kingdom.
we are called to be a Church of the Poor. One of our 7 Core
Values in CFC-FFL is “Living a preferential option for
the poor.” A major movement God has led us to is the
No One in Need (NONe) movement. Let us understand
our call, and by the grace of God, live it out to the full.
Then we can rightfully enter into the Kingdom of God.