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Jesus vs riches

{ Matthew 7: 29 } 

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine (i.e. believes them) and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock .  . .  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand."

{ Matthew 19:16, 21–26 }
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When someone came to Jesus with this crucial question: "Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life and happiness?
        [ Jesus told him that he must begin by obeying the ten commandments. But, then, Jesus goes on to explain . . .]
        "If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."  But when the young man heard this, he went away sadly, for he was very rich.
        Then Jesus said to his disciples, "It is almost impossible for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.   I say it again – 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!  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, "Then who can be saved?"   And Jesus replied, "For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible."

{ Matthew 7: 20–23 }  

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my father in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?'
        Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.'

{ Luke 9:22 –26 }  

"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.  What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?  Those (preachers and followers) who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."

{ Matthew 19:16, 21–26 }

When someone came to Jesus with this crucial question: "Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life and happiness?
        [ Jesus told him that he must begin by obeying the ten commandments. But, then, Jesus goes on to explain . . .]
        "If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."  But when the young man heard this, he went away sadly, for he was very rich.
        Then Jesus said to his disciples, "It is almost impossible for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.   I say it again – 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!  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, "Then who can be saved?"   And Jesus replied, "For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible."

{ Luke 16:13–15}  

" No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth." The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him.  So he said to them,  "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God."

{ Luke 14:33–35}  

So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.  Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away.  Let anyone with ears to hear listen!

{Luke 12:15–21}

And he said to them,   "Take care!   Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions."   Then he told them a parable:   "The land of a rich man produced abundantly.  And he thought to himself,  'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?'   Then he said, 'I will do this:  I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.   And I will say to my soul,  'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'  



      But God said to him, 'You fool!  This very night your life is being demanded of you.   And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'   So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."  "Yes, every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven.  Sell what you have and give to those in need.  This will fatten your purses in heaven!   And the purses of heaven have no rips or holes in them.  Your treasures there will never disappear; no thief can steal them; no moth can destroy them.  Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be."

{ Luke 16:20–31: } 

"One day Lazarus, a diseased beggar, was laid at the door of a rich man's house.   As he lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.   Finally the beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham in the place of the righteous dead.
        The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went into hell.   There, in torment, he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham.   'Father Abraham,' he shouted, 'have some pity! Send Lazarus over here if only to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in these flames.'  But Abraham said to him, 'Son, remember that during your life-time you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing.  So now he is here being comforted and you are in anguish."   "And besides, there is a great chasm separating us, and anyone wanting to come to you from here is stopped at its edge; and no one over there can cross to us.'
        Then the rich man said,  'O Father Abraham, then please send him to my father's home – for I have five brothers – to warn them about this place of torment, lest they come here when they die.'   But Abraham said, 'The Scriptures have warned them again and again.  Your brothers can read them any time they want to.' The rich man replied, 'No, Father Abraham, they won't bother to read them.  But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.'  But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even though someone rises from the dead.'

{ John, 3: 16–18 }  

" We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.  How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?   Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."

{ Luke 3:7–11 }  

"John (the Baptist) said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruits worthy of repentance.  Do not begin to say to yourselves,  'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.  Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."  And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?"  In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."

The Republican Christian version of Christ's teaching :

Instead of grasping the clear message of Jesus that wealth is a great threat to salvation unless it is used to lift the needy out of poverty, so-called "Conservative Christians", (also known as "Republican Christians") have their own version of the Gospels, from which most of the above has been blacked out, and in which "the parable of the talents" is highlighted.
        The message that they get from Matthew, Ch. 24 13-3013 is that Jesus wanted his followers to be shrewd money-makers:

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" Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
        The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
        After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.'         His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
        And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
        Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'
        But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
        As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'


If the Republican version of the Gospels is correct then the parable above teaches that no one but successful businessmen are going to heaven, and Jesus recommends in the parable below that his followers lie, steal and cheat their way to financial success.


{ Luke, Ch. 16 :1–12  

"Then Jesus said to the disciples, 'There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, 'What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' He answered, 'A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, 'And how much do you owe?' He replied, 'A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. 'Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?"


It's sad that some people are unable to see that when Jesus used an illustration to make a point, his teaching was the point, not the illustration. In the conclusion to the parable above, Jesus makes it clear how little respect he has for the pursuit of material prosperity, or wealth:

{ Luke 16:13–15}  

" No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth." The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him.  So he said to them,  "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God."

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