Mark 10:21-25

Mark 10:21 (KJB)
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Jesus did not rebuke this man instead He gave him the formula for having the treasure in Heaven, that is, salvation. Do you remember the parable of the pearl of great price and the parable of the field? (Mat 13:44-46 KJV) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. {45} Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: {46} Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. When the man and the merchant man both found the treasures, they went and sold all that they had and purchased the field and the pearl. Jesus is telling this rich man that he is to do the same thing. He has found the key to Heaven and He was standing right in front of him. He is to become saved in Christ and reject all the trappings of the world, especially all the desires for gaining and maintaining wealth. If he just sold all his goods and gave the proceeds to the poor, that would not buy him salvation because then it would be by works. The key to salvation is to follow Christ after one becomes saved and to take up his cross and follow Him. The true test of a follower of Christ is how far would one go in following Christ? All the way to the cross?

There is another aspect to this advice Christ gave him and that is not to sell everything that he has and give the money away, instead, to use his wealth for the kingdom of God. For example, a person who knows computers becomes saved, instead of selling his computers, he now uses them to further the kingdom of God. What was once used for on line games is now used to send forth the Gospel. We take what wealth or material possessions we have and instead of using them for worldly things, they are now used for the Kingdom of God. This is another way to sell and give to the poor.

Mark 10:22 (KJB)
And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

The Greek word behind “sad” can also be understood as “being shocked or appalled.“ He must have been appalled at the response of Jesus because at this point the man was unwilling to pursue eternal life any further since he was wealthy and did not want to part with his earthly possessions. (Mark 10:21 KJV) Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. There may have been a time in the future when this man became saved because if you notice in Mark 10:21, the verse states that Jesus loved him and the Bible is very clear that the love of God and the love of Jesus are qualified. (John 13:1 KJV) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Notice John 13:1 states that Jesus “loved His own.” It does not say He loved everyone in the world. That is a fallacious theory propagated from non-biblical sources. Jesus loved His own and they are those who have become saved. (Psa 5:5 KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. God hates all workers of iniquity and that includes all unbelievers.

Mark 10:23 (KJB)
And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

As soon as the rich man left his presence, Jesus then made a statement about wealth. The rich shall hardly enter in the kingdom of Heaven because they will view their wealth as having it in sight right now and Heaven cannot be seen but requires faith. Many rich people place their security in their wealth not realizing that money is very volatile and can be lost in a matter of hours. Yet, they believe that theirs will not perish. It blinds them to the reality of eternity because they are living the good life now. Having much money will cause people to focus on the now rather than the future. However, Jesus did not say it was impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven because rich people have been saved and there will be more that will be saved and salvation will place a different light on the transitory nature of wealth.

Mark 10:24 (KJB)
And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

The disciples had become astonished at what Jesus said concerning rich people and their ability to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus was trying to explain to the disciples that there cannot be dual trust, a trust in God and a trust in money. That would place money on an even footing with God. When it comes to the kingdom of God and wealth, there must be a transfer of allegiance from wealth to God. Money must be looked at as a servant and not a master. It must be viewed as a tool in the kingdom of God for advancing the kingdom of God. There are two types of people who view money as a god, first there is the poor people who do not have enough and continue to seek ways to gain more money, and second, the wealthy who see it as security which is idolatry. Both of these groups view of money is diametrically opposed to the proper view one should have of it, that being, it is a servant and not a master.

Mark 10:25 (KJB)
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus then makes a word picture concerning the difficulty a rich man has for entering into the kingdom of Heaven. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle and a sewing needle is in view here, than for a rich man to get into Heaven. The rich man is blinded by his wealth and thinks that it is always going to continue. That is one of the grave deceptions of wealth. At this point the man was more concerned about his wealth than he was about his eternal soul. His mind was on his riches and nothing else. We should not point fingers at this man because how many want to follow Christ only if it does not cost them too much. One need not be wealthy to reject the idea of giving it all up to follow Jesus. Many have a good job, a nice home, a comfortable position in a community and these things would be just as hard to give up as the wealthy man his money.