The treasure in the field and the pearl of great price are examples of how valuable is the salvation message of Jesus Christ. Wealthy Christians honor God with their wealth by divesting themselves for benevolent uses. In doing so, they are storing up treasures in heaven.
Great wealth can become a form of idolatry and giving some of it to the poor is a way of showing faith in Jesus Christ. This does not mean that I have to give away everything and become homeless and ascetic. In order to minister the gospel, I need to maintain a stable lifestyle and use some of my earnings for myself and my loved ones.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Eye of the needle
The camel that goes through the eye of the needle takes a shortcut into the city rather than go through the main gate. But the effort is tedious. First I must unload the cargo. Then I must detach the saddle. Then I must have the camel crawl on his knees through the opening in the wall. Once inside, I must saddle and reload the cargo to bring the goods to market. In the same way, a wealthy person must unload his wealth for the kingdom of god and then pursue a lifestyle of selflessness that shows he does not hoard and value his wealth more than the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, 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. Matthew 19:24 and Mark 10:25
Lord Jesus, Help me to know when my wealth is getting in the way of my relationship with you. My first and foremost desire is to be with you and to do your will. Amen.
Rich young ruler
My wealth is meager compared to many. However, when a wealthy person approaches Jesus Christ with the question about what to do with that wealth, Jesus gives the strongest (almost extreme) message to divest and live as a pauper. I will interpret the teachings of Jesus to particular persons as to myself if I can recognize myself in their position.
The middle ground is to use the wealth to help those less fortunate than myself and keep up the ministry to my social circles. If I ever feel that money or power or any other resource is getting in the way of my relationship with Jesus Christ, I will dispose of it willingly.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Luke 18:22-23
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
Lord Jesus, Teach me to be generous and willing to help others with my wealth. Make me observant and sensitive to the needs of others. Amen.
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Making amends for my past financial exploits means to give to the poor and to pay back whatever was taken wrongfully. This idea can extend to many types of sins against other people. Whatever the situation, Jesus will guide me to do the right thing so I can follow him with my whole heart.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:1-10
Lord Jesus, I will pay back whatever I have taken wrongfully. I will give my excess wealth to the poor and I will follow you with my whole heart. Amen.