Why Do the Rich Have Such a Hard Time? (Lent 32-2018)

Pity the poor rich man” said most men… never. 

Except Jesus.  Always the One to discomfort the comfortable and comfort the discomforted, Jesus offers perspective where there often is none.  Mark 10:23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

In the parallel account in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus has been discussing eternal life with a rich young ruler and what it takes to be saved. Jesus says, Luke 18:20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'” 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” [the rich young ruler] said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved? 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

Looking beyond the surface of what mankind often values, Jesus answers “Why Do the Rich Have Such a Hard Time?” Because money can’t buy the impossible.

Taking matters into one’s own hands, providing for oneself and storing up what one thinks he needs to survive is what happened to Pi. In the movie Life of Pi that we’ve been using during Lent 2018,

“Pi goes through the supplies listed in his survival guide, matching supplies to the pile of booty he’s just retrieved from the lifeboat.  93 cans of water…Suddenly, the glowing silhouette of a huge creature wrapped in phosphorescent plankton – a HUMPBACK WHALE – streaks to the surface nearby, …the animal slips back into the ocean, creating a wave that sends the raft swirling across the water’s surface,… Pi’s neatly-stacked water cans and biscuits tumble over the side of the raft and into the ocean…The whale disappears into the night, leaving Pi open-mouthed and shaken.  PI (V.O.) “Of course, I brought all the biscuits and water on the raft with me to keep them safe. Idiot.”

Food for thought:  

  • What characteristics of the rich make it hard for them to be saved? 
  • In this life, the rich always inspire a great deal of envy.  Why is that not the reaction Jesus had? 
  • Where is your treasure stored? 

Join me tomorrow for Why Do You Doubt?


For Lent 2018, we’ll explore the questions of Pi and Chi (the Greek letter beginning the word Christos, which means Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One). We’ll ask and answer the question “Why?” as we discover the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.  Join me for the 40 days of Lent which began February 14, 2018 by liking Seminary Gal on Facebook or having these devotionals sent to your email box which you can do via the sign-up on my Home page.  Thank you for blessing me with this opportunity to study together the Word of God.


Acknowledging that former years’ devotional series remain popular:

  1. Lent 2013 looked at The Letter to the Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece to reclaim foundations of our Christian heritage and began February 13, 2013.
  2.  A very special and ever popular offering was Lent 2014’s Be Still and Know that I AM God  which can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014. 
  3. Lent 2015 began on February 18, 2015 with a series entitled With Christ in the Upper Room: Final Preparations.  We explored what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse” found in John chapters 13-17
  4. ReKindle, the Lent 2016 series, began on February 10, 2016 and encouraged us to rekindle our spiritual lives.
  5. Light: There’s Nothing Like It was the 2017 Lent series and explored this metaphor often used to portray Christ.  It is archived beginning March 1, 2017.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 22, 2018

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