BEWARE of TRUSTING in UNCERTAIN RICHES: Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:23-25)
In the above passage, Jesus remarked on the difficulty of rich people entering the kingdom of God. The difficulty is not because riches in themselves are evil but because the rich are tempted to depend upon their riches, and may be unable to admit their need of God. The disciples of Jesus were amazed by this remark as they had looked on riches as an indication of God’s blessing. Under the Mosaic code, God had promised prosperity to those who obeyed Him. These disciples reasoned that if a rich person couldn’t enter the kingdom, then no one else could either!
What can we conclude from the teaching of this passage? It is difficult for rich people to be saved (v. 23) since they tend to love their wealth more than God. They would rather give up God than give up their money, as did the rich young ruler in an earlier incident (vv. 17-22). They put their trust in riches rather than in the Lord. It was true in the Old Testament that riches were a sign of God’s favor (example, God blessing King Solomon with riches, 2 Chron. 1:12). However, in the New Testament era this has now changed. Instead of a mark of the Lord’s blessing, riches are a test of a man’s devotedness to God!
Let us understand that our tendency to trust in riches or to be absorbed totally in the pursuit of them makes it very difficult for us to live for God or seek the kingdom of God in our daily lives. Christians who lay up treasures on earth also pay for their disobedience in the lives of their children who depart from God and go after what the world has to offer. Trusting in uncertain riches is a dangerous condition for one seeking spiritual life. However, benevolence with one’s finances will be rewarded with true treasure in heaven!
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." (1 Tim 6:17-19)