Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 27th May 2024: The snare of possessions

Disciple Mark 10 Jesus Rich Possessions

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 10

Money in hand

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.”’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I have never lived long anywhere. As a child we moved around twelve times and as an adult twenty times, both in the UK and abroad. The gist of this is, I have constantly thrown things away. I would keep some much loved books and toys as a child, and later things that reminded me of seminal events in my life. The last time I moved, nearly two years ago, I parted with almost everything.

In today's reading the rich man's emotions are stirred by the teachings of Jesus, and he asks what else should he do? He's tried to live according to the Law, but is there something else? Jesus sees the truth of what he says, and invites him to dispose of his possessions and follow him. But this is a step too far. He is trapped by his wealth and cannot give it up. The disciples would have been amazed since they believed that those who had riches had been blessed by God and would surely be more likely to enter the Kingdom of Heaven before others..

But the truth, as Jesus points out, is the opposite. Material possessions can keep us tied to this life. There is the need to care for them - the house and its contents, the car, the land, and even the family - all need us to earn money to ensure things continue into the future. It means we are so grounded that we can forget to place our trust in God for our daily life and our future. For those burdened with material possessions following Jesus can be a hard path to take.

As for me, I'm constantly having to re-purchase the odd book that I shouldn't have given away, and will soon have to de-clutter again!


Lord Jesus Christ,
help us to live lighter to the world,
and not to store up riches on earth;
to use our income wisely;
to give away what we don't need;
to put the things of the Spirit
at the centre of our life;
and to answer Your call
to walk with You in faith
more seriously.

Follow Up Thoughts

This secular blog might be helpful:

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