Yes, you are absolutely stinking filthy rich. You are thinking about how much month is left when your paycheck runs out, or how that college tuition check nearly caused your pen to melt. Does it raise your ire a bit; that I might suppose to ignore your challenges and difficulties, and dismiss them by saying that whether you believe it or not, you are rich?
When Jesus said…
(Matthew 19:23-24): Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.”
…he was not thinking of people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Jesus was talking about you, and me, all of our family members, friends, and acquaintances. Indeed, even the poorest in this country; even the homeless in our cities are rich. For you see, there are millions on this earth that are truly desperate; dying of starvation and lack of clean water.
God does not “reset” the measure of wealth based on the boundaries of our nations. It is an odd fact, as difficult as it is to comprehend, that every person in the United States, and I dare say every person in the European Union are rich in comparison to many on this planet.
The point that Jesus was driving home was not that it is impossible for us to enter Heaven, but that as we are more capable of taking care of ourselves; the wealthier we are, the easier it is to depend on our own means to survive, it becomes difficult for us to depend only on God and his sacrifice through Jesus Christ for our salvation.
There is no means by which we can become reconciled with God by our own efforts. We cannot depend in any way on our ability to do anything that will grant us the ability to stand blameless before God. It is only when we admit that truth; when we cast away the misplaced faith in intellect, good works, and the fruits of our labors, and reach out instead to God’s outstretched hand that we become worthy.
There is not enough wealth in the entire world to pay the price for our redemption. It is a price that only God is capable of paying, and he did so by coming to us as one of us. Jesus – God the Son paid that price for us. He allowed Himself to be sacrificed; allowed his body to be broken and His blood spilled. He arose after three days from the dead to take his place in the Kingdom of God, waiting and preparing a place for each one of us.
So it is the great equalizer. We must stand with all else stripped away, whether we are the wealthiest man in the world or the poorest starving soul in Africa, and depend on God alone to save us. It is really that simple. As Jesus said, it is easier for the Camel to pass through the eye of a needle, and He was speaking to you and me.