23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, 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.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
27Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
The disciples ask our question after one of the most challenging stories in scripture—the rich young ruler. This is where we hear Jesus warning about relying too much on our wealth (or status, or privilege) to measure our lives. Says Jesus, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.” Naturally, then, this leads to the disciples’ question: “Then who can be saved?” Jesus challenges our comfort. Whenever things start to “work” for us a little too much, maybe then we can remember his warning. It’s tempting to think about our well-fitting lives as examples of God’s favor, which is always a cheapening of salvation. As we keep “distancing,” many of us have left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother for the sake of caring for the vulnerable by attempting to arrest the spread of a disease. Many have made personal or professional sacrifices to help with just that. It could be that it matters less what you have than what you are willing to give up, no matter whether it’s in a good time or a bad one. If you offload your “goods” to someone else, you have open arms to receive God’s blessing instead.
God, all that we have is yours, received in the grace of creation, and in the love of Jesus Christ. Help us to share what is yours—that in our giving we might receive you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.