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Entering the Kingdom
I’ve actually heard it said that if the rich man had agreed to sell all his possessions and give to the poor, Jesus would have responded, “Now that I know you will, you don’t have too.” Or in other words, “Just kidding.” Kind of like Abraham offering his son Issac. Just before Abraham actually sacrificed Issac God stopped him and told him to offer the ram nearby instead. One of the problems with historical narratives is that you never know what MIGHT have happened; you only know what happened. My personal opinion, however, is that Jesus meant exactly what he said. When he looked at the man and loved him, Jesus knew that there was no way he could be a follower because the true love of his life was money.
I preached this text several years ago and used the title of the then popular t.v. show, “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” While that may be the goal for a lost world who worships Mammon, a disciple of Jesus must have higher priorities. That was why I began the sermon today with the prayer of Proverbs 30. Pray this, if you dare:
“…give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”