The Rich Man
Matthew 19:24 & Luke 16:9
In Matthew 19:24, Jesus says,
"Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
time you read this or a similar passage from the Bible that disparages the
"rich man", it appears that being rich can keep you from eternal life. Even
Jesus came from a not-poor family. We know that He and His mother Mary dressed
well. After all, his father Joseph was a carpenter (an excellent and needed
skill of the time), and we presume that Jesus was taught his father's trade.
So, why is the rich man always denigrated?
In Luke 16:9, you get a bit better understanding
of the plight of the "rich man" in ancient times. Jesus begins this section on
"the right use of money" with, "And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as
it is ...".
One of the things I love about my research Bible
are all the footnotes from the "experts". At the end of this introduction to
the verse, the footnote says, "Money is here called 'tainted' not only because
its owner is here presumed to have gained it dishonestly but because great
wealth is rarely acquired without some [devious] practice."
This is why great wealth was generally frowned
upon it usually wasn't gained according to Jewish laws. Even Islam looks
down upon "usury", which is interest charged on debt usually at a higher than
So, it doesn't mean that anyone with wealth is
going to hell and will not have eternal life. It all depends on how they
gained their wealth and if it was at someone else's expense. Even poor
people come under this law of God.
It's something to think
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