How difficult it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! . . . It’s very hard to enter the kingdom of God! It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom. (10:23-25)
Read on. This is no diatribe against money.
What if we have turned the phrase “enter the kingdom of God” into something other than what Jesus meant?
What if it doesn’t mean “go to heaven” like some people make it seem? What if this idea that there is some entrance test to heaven and people who love money can’t pass the test isn’t really what this means? What if the kingdom that one would want to enter isn’t “out there” or “up there?” What if it isn’t a “when you die” thing?
What if this kingdom is a “right here, right now” thing, as we saw in Mark 1 and a few other places so far? What if the kingdom is a new “age” (10:17) or era or system or way of seeing reality that can come on a Tuesday afternoon in the line at the grocery store when we really begin to see, accept and act on things like Jesus wanted us to? What if God is wanting to create that new kingdom with and through us, right here and now, as we start living the way of Jesus in the everyday of life?
- What if we enter the kingdom when we stop acting like adults and start acting more like children (10:14-15)?
- What if we enter the kingdom when we think heavenly treasure is more valuable than earthly wealth (10:21)?
- What if we enter the kingdom when we think the impossible is possible (10:27)?
- What if we enter the kingdom when we leave behind what we have held dear before, only to receive the same back again and with greater abundance (10:29-30)?
- What if we enter the kingdom from the back of the line, not the front (10:31)?
- What if we enter the kingdom when we think the greatest among us are the servants, slaves, and saviors (10:43-45)?
Or at least, what if we begin to enter the kingdom when all of this becomes true in us?
That’s what I am thinking about today as I read this chapter.