“The disciples were incredulous! ’Then who in the world can be saved, if not a rich man?’ they asked.”
Mark 10:26 – The Living Bible
The disciples were reacting to Jesus’ statement that it is nearly impossible for a rich man (i.e. one who trusts in riches) to enter into the Kingdom of God. I puzzled over this passage yesterday and today in my devotions I was drawn to it again.
Why did the disciples think it would be easier for a rich man to enter the Kingdom? It reminds me of the scene from “Fiddler on the Roof” where Tevye is singing, “If I Were A Rich Man..” In one verse he sings:
If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack
To sit in the synagogue and pray,
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall,
And I’d discuss the learned books with the holy men
Seven hours every day–
That would be the sweetest thing of all…
It must have been similar in the disciples’ time. Those who were rich had leisure to study, pray in the temple for long periods, have access to the religious leadership, etc. Jesus’ disciples must have thought that it would be so much easier for the rich to enter into the Kingdom because they didn’t have to be so concerned with the daily grind of working a menial job. They could really focus on their relationship with God.
I can’t fault these guys. Isn’t this similar to what I’ve been thinking recently? If only I didn’t have to work at McKissock every day I’d be able to be at the church. I’d be able to do the work that needs done at our radio ministry. I’d have time to prepare and record a daily radio show, etc., etc., etc.
The reality is that God has provided this job for me and I need to be content to stay there until He moves me someplace else or provides something different. I need to be content that if it’s His will for me as a Pastor that I also work a full-time “secular” job for the remainder of my life that I’m okay with that.
It’s not our job status, wealth, poverty or anything else that keeps us from entering into the Kingdom of God. We enter in by His Grace. It’s also not my job status, wealth, poverty, or anything else that prevents me from enjoying the abundant life that Jesus wants me to enjoy. It’s my refusal to find contentment and joy in my relationship with Him instead of in my circumstances. That’s what blocks the joy that can only be found in Him..
Lord, forgive me. Help me to find my joy and contentment in You and You alone each and every day – regardless of my circumstances.