25 For 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.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Why does Jesus say that it is difficult for anyone with riches to enter God’s Kingdom? I think the real issue is, to whom do we give the credit for what we have? It’s easy to think we did it all ourselves! In Jesus’ time – and sometimes in ours – wealth seems to signify God’s preference, and poverty is often considered a punishment. If that were true, then only a small percentage of the world’s population meets God’s approval! The majority of people are hardworking, honest people that are not rich. Is it really their fault that they don’t have wealth? I don’t think so.
If that were the case, then why was justice for the poor and the vulnerable a major theme of both the Old Testament and Jesus’ teachings. No one has chosen the place of the circumstances of his birth. Those who were born into a wealthy family or who had an opportunity for a good education, good food and health care are no more worthy than those born into a war torn county or one with few of the opportunities that others take for granted. In God’s eyes, we are all his beloved children. We have no right to feel superior to others, or to judge others as being more or less worthy. We know that we did not and cannot save ourselves. Jesus has saved us. It took Jesus who is both divine and human to pay the price for our sins. No mere human could have done it; salvation is pure gift.
Let us thank God for the gift of salvation and allow our actions to show our gratitude in the way we treat others.
Loving Father, you have given us the greatest gift of all, the gift of salvation. No matter our circumstances, you love us equally and expect us to use the gifts we have been given in service to others. Let none of us boast! Amen.