The Love of Money

A reading for Thursday, April 10, 2014: Mark 10:17-31.

It has been claimed that in the ancient city of Jerusalem there was a narrow Essene gate that weary travelers could pass through once the main city gate was closed for the night. However, it was so narrow that a camel could only pass through it stooped down with all it's baggage removed and unloaded. The riches a traveler was carrying had to be stripped away in order for them to enter the safety of the city. Thus the reference to the story that Jesus tells in our lesson today. There is no archeological evidence for such a gate, however in addition to Christianity Judaism and Islam all have similar references so it's quite possible such a gate did exist.

Many people have said that money is the root of all evil. Mark Twain is quoted as saying "The lack of money is the root of all evil." In fact, the Bible is clear in 1 Timothy 6:10 that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Perhaps this is the point Jesus is trying to make...

What do you love the most? Our God is a jealous God and won't allow us to place anything in the position of becoming "our God." Truth is God knows that money can't do what only God can do for us. It just doesn't have that power. Only a relationship with God can grant us what we long for: purpose, meaning and a connection to what is good in all of us.

Many it seem continue to test this theory however. They accumulate more and more, setting their focus and their goals on being so rich that they need for nothing. They are independently wealthy. This was the problem the man in the story with Jesus had, he was not dependent upon God even though he followed the commandments. His despair at having to give away his wealth is our evidence that he loved money more than God.

In the end, there is nothing wrong with accumulating wealth. Resources are useful and even good when they are in the right order of priority. Money can even be used to show just how much we love God.

Just don't forget nobody goes through the narrow gate carrying all their wealth and possessions. Allow me to interpret this for Nashvillians... There's an old country song by George Hamilton IV, "I've Never Seen a Armored Car Following a Hearse."


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