Continuing our series on Modern Living, this week we heard from David Hawker about money. It seems remarkably appropriate, as last week and this week, global financial markets seem to be headlining the news.
It’s hard not to worry about money isn’t it? So much of our security is tied up in our financial position. Is our job secure? Will we be able to pay for our mortgage? Is our pension still safe?
Mark 10:17-31 talks about a man who comes to Jesus and asks what he needs to do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, and the man responds by saying that he’s done all that. Then it says this in verse 21 “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'”
When I first read that, I was fixated on the fact that Jesus wanted the rich man to sell everything! Give it all to the poor he says. I kept tossing and turning the words around my head, does Jesus really mean to sell everything? Is the ownership of material things wrong? And then I read it again, and this time a something else stood out : Jesus looked at him and loved him.
Jesus sees that the one thing that prevents this man from entering into a committed relationship with him: the love of money. This man’s heart was given to something else. And though Jesus’ love for this man is evident, his love was unrequited. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
It’s the same for us isn’t it sometimes? Our eyes or so fixed on the material – the cost of things – that we lose sight of what we might possibly gain in return. Isn’t Christ worth everything we have?
I suppose Mark 8:36 sums it up best:
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”