Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question — if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again — it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
Matthew 19:16-24 New Living Translation (NLT)
Someone once told me that a person who was rich was truly blessed by God. Jesus tells me something different. In the Beatitudes (specifically Matthew 5:3), Christ disputes this belief. Having many possessions is not a bad thing. It's what we do with our wealth that honors God since everything we have belongs to Him. I've never seen a hearse pulling a trailer full of stuff to a grave. Have you?
As Believers in Christ, we are joint-heirs to the Kingdom of God. We are rich beyond our understanding because the Most High God is our Heavenly Father. When people hold onto material possessions without concern for those who have little, God is not pleased. He calls us to give and share what we have. He promises to give us more to give and share when we follow Christ and show love through our selflessness.
The man in this Scripture could not see beyond his earthly possessions enough to even gain what he asked Jesus for: eternal life. He had so much that he could not imagine selling it all and helping the poor. Today, we live in a world where money and stuff are worshiped as gods with no thought given to what comes after this life. It is the heart of those who do this that God sees. Sometimes they talk a good game but God examines their hearts for motive and intent, and He always makes provision Himself for His children in need.
When we begin to covet the wealth of others or esteem those who have so much, we must remember we are already rich because our Father owns everything. Our treasures are eternal and will last forever as we follow Christ.