Your riches are in heaven

The Rich Ruler taken from the Gospel of Luke

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” 21 He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.”

This story of this happening when Jesus met this rich young ruler is recounted in three of the synoptic gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke. The validity of the story is there for assured. It is one of the most profound stories told in the gospels. Here we have this rich young ruler he has everything or at least he thinks he has. His encounter with Jesus has a profound effect on him. He says what must I do to inherit eternal life. Jesus says keep the commandments and the young man replies but I do these things and have done since childhood. Jesus says well it’s not enough you need to do more. The young man thinks to himself what more can I do. Jesus looks at him and says there is one more thing you can do and that is to give everything you have away to the poor and follow me. This came as a shock to the rich man who thought well he might have said give a little bit away but he’s telling me to give everything away surely I can’t give everything away, but Jesus presses the point. The rich young man is so crestfallen that he goes away almost in tears. The point of the story is very clear. We may hoard our wealth but we can never take any of it with us when we go to the Kingdom, we go to the Kingdom in a state of poverty. It is only in the Kingdom where we will enjoy riches beyond measure.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 

My dear friends I have known many people some of great wealth who live lives of great opulence yet their souls are dead and it hearts are empty conversely I have known and know people who have nothing yet they have everything, they have the most beautiful souls you will ever see and their hearts are full of compassion. I know who I’d rather be. I would say you to those with great wealth you can’t take none of it with you when it’s your time to go. Give it up give it all to the poor so that they may be less poor. Humble yourself before the poor and follow Jesus Christ and your riches will be found in heaven

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