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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."

Every 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 acceptable practice.

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 about!

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