Wealth a Stumbling Block to Heaven
Mark Exposition • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 42:11
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“As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said 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 a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”” (, NIV84)
Last week we considered that striking encounter between Jesus and the rich young ruler. The rich young man approached Jesus, preventing him from leaving town until he had answers to his question. And the question that he posed was: What must I do to inherit eternal life.
Here was a man with a burden to become a part of God’s kingdom. He wanted to inherit eternal life. And after some discussion, Jesus posed the challenge to him: If you want to inherit eternal life, then go, sell all you have and give your money to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven, and then come, follow me.
What a mind-blowing encounter!! And if you’re anything like the typical person in life, you shifted in your chair, and asked the question to yourself: does that mean I should get rid of all my possessions in order to become a disciple of Jesus?
Now many pastors have preached from this text, and the typical way that they do this (or present this account) goes something along the lines of what I did last week, where I emphasised the fact that we need to be destroying the various idols that we may have in our own lives when coming to Christ. And at that point, everyone kind of breathes a sigh of relief. Relief that they don’t need to sell all their possessions.
And that kind of says something on its own, doesn’t it? We tend to put money and possessions right up there at the top of our list of priorities in life. And to let go is anything but easy.
But if there is one thing that we certainly must learn from this encounter with the rich young ruler, and what Christ goes on to teach his disciples, it is the fact that…
…wealth and possessions are a very real stumbling block and obstacle to entering the kingdom of heaven. [repeat]
The danger of wealth, or the stumbling block that wealth is to entering the Kingdom of God is not something that is unique to this account in the Gospels. Rather, it is teaching that is found throughout the Scriptures. Warnings about wealth and possessions are to be found from cover to cover. Randy Alcorn has written a book entitled “Money, Possessions and Eternity,” and in this book, he begins with this paragraph:
Were we the Bible’s editors, we might be tempted to cut out much of what it says about money and possessions. Anyone can see it devotes a disproportionate amount of space to the subject, right? When it comes to money and possessions, the Bible is sometimes redundant, often extreme, and occasionally shocking. It turns many readers away, making it a hard sell in today’s market-place. It interferes with our lives and commits the unpardonable sin – it makes us feel guilty. If we want to avoid guilt feelings, it forces us to invent fancy interpretations to get around its plain meaning.
He goes on to state that according to his research, the Bible devotes twice as many verses to money (about 2,350 of them) than to faith and prayer combined; that Jesus spoke more about money than about both heaven and hell; and that about 15% of all of Christ’s recorded words concern this one subject.
Clearly, this is a subject of immense importance and significance. Clearly this is a subject that each person, including every disciple of Jesus Christ needs to be fully taught on and challenged on. Indeed, every disciple of Jesus must test and evaluate their hearts in light of the teaching of Scripture on this important issue.
1. The Assertion (v.23-24)
1. The Assertion (v.23-24)
So, let us consider together what it is that Christ teaches his disciples following this encounter with the rich young ruler.
As the rich young man walks away from Christ grieving at the instructions that he’s just received, we read in verse 23 that:
“Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Here is the summary statement of Christ’s teaching through these verses – the focus point. It is exceedingly hard, it is with great difficulty, that a rich person will enter the kingdom of heaven. For wealthy people to enter God’s kingdom is exceedingly difficult. Wealth provides a very real stumbling block to coming to God with the right attitude and spirit.
Christ doesn’t go into all the details or the specifics of why this is so. What is it about wealth that makes it so difficult for the wealthy person to enter into the kingdom of God?
Primarily and at the root of the issue, is that the person with wealth, or means in this world, is so prone to place his trust in that wealth, rather than in God. In other words the sense of security of the person gets shifted from a deep trust in the power and providence and provision of God, and instead is placed on the earthly riches that are accumulated.
Listen to how the Scriptures put this in various places.
In the book of Revelation, God gave warnings to the various churches. To the church in Laodicea, He warned them that they were trusting in their riches. These are the words that He quotes them as saying:
“I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” (, NASB)
But He goes on to explain to them:
you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (, NASB)
This church, these people who had come to know Christ, and had placed their trust in Christ for their salvation, were now focused so much on their wealth and possessions, that they were forsaking the one who had bought them with a great price. They failed to recognize their own neediness. In this context, it is clear that they get not only their sense of security, but their sense of worth in their possession. This leads them to be completely blinded to their deep spiritual need.
Although they saw themselves as wealthy and content and in need of nothing, the fact was that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Strong words!
Listen to how the following Proverbs speak of such a man:.
“The rich man’s wealth is his fortress, The ruin of the poor is their poverty.” (, NASB95)
There is the security that a rich man gets when he has wealth. He begins to feel that he’s untouchable – his riches are his fortress. Similar words are found in …
“A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination.” (, NASB95)
It’s important to realise that this sense of security in wealth really is only a high wall in his own imagination!!! The rich person only imagines that they are secure and without need, because they are deceived in the imaginations of their mind.
In the book of Deuteronomy, God speaks through Moses, and tells of how the Israelites received much physical blessing from God in the way of provisions, but because of this abundance, forsook God. The words in …
““But Jeshurun [Israel] grew fat and kicked— You are grown fat, thick, and sleek— Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation.” (, NASB95)
These verses are just some warnings and examples of how wealth deceives people into a sense of self-sufficiency. But the real danger is that the person with riches and wealth is so blind to their own self-sufficiency. The Israelites would never have said that they were trusting in their riches. They would simply have said that these blessings from God that he had promised them, and they would have continued in their usual ceremonial obedience. But their hearts were far from Him!!! What a danger!!
The reality however is that they failed to recognise that God is not only the great provider of all things, but that He has the power to take everything away in an instant! says…
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (, NIV84)
We must recognise that according to Scripture, it is not that money in and of itself is wrong. Money and wealth and possessions are amoral in that sense. But rather the fact is that man’s heart is so prone to depend on wealth and to begin to rather place trust in that wealth.
Well, as Christ teaches his disciples the fact that it is exceedingly difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, they respond perhaps in a manner similar to what we would respond, and what we even respond today. Verse 24:
The disciples were amazed at his words.
Here was another one of Christ’s shocking teachings. The disciples, although they themselves had left much to follow Christ, were amazed. Probably they were already in a stunned silence as the rich young ruler walked away from Jesus following this encounter with him. They must have thought to themselves: why on earth would Jesus place this heavy demand on the man’s life? He wanted to inherit eternal life after all!! He wanted to enter God’s kingdom. Now Christ turns him away, and then follows up with the words stating how difficult it is for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom!? They stood in sheer amazement at what was unfolding.
Let me ask the question this morning: what is your response to this encounter thus far? Place yourself within this context. Christ has just sent the young man away dejected. Wouldn’t that baffle your mind? And then to hear those words, that it is so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Would you not be amazed at Christ’s words? Perhaps even a little angered?
As the disciples stand in amazement and shock at the words of Christ, He addresses them again, confirming what it is that he has just said:
But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
Christ addresses them with a term of endearment: “Children.” And addressing them as those over whom he has a sincere care, emphasises the truth of what he has just said: It is hard to enter the Kingdom of God.
Through this repetition, Jesus places the emphasis on the truth of the fact that he has just stated. It can in no ways be minimized, or explained away. Entering the kingdom of God is no walk in the park – it is difficult.
2. The Example (v.25)
2. The Example (v.25)
But if the disciples were amazed with the original statement by Christ, following the turning away of the rich young ruler, then what follows is an even more challenging and perplexing statement by Jesus. Christ uses a picture to describe just how difficult it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom. , Jesus says:
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.”
The picture is quite simple, and quite stunning. A camel was the largest of animals to be found in Palestine at the time. There was no bigger animal around, and as the disciples of Jesus listened, they would have had the clear picture of the sheer size of the animal – perhaps with some walking around them (the camel was a form of transport in those days).
On the other hand, the eye of the needle was just about the smallest of spaces to try and fit something through, and the disciples would well have known just how difficult it is to get even a piece of thread through the eye of the needle, let alone anything bigger.
The picture is one which boggles the mind. In order to try and make this comparison easier to accept, or more comfortable to hear, there have been some interesting interpretations that have come up over the years.
For example, you may have heard of the idea that “Needles Eye” was the name of a low gate in Jerusalem, and that if a camel wanted to fit through that gate, it would need to throw of its load (burden) and get down on its knees, and then go through. This turns the radical picture that Christ gives into something anaemic and common place. As one commentator writes:
This tradition has no historical basis and looks like the invention of a wealthy church searching for loopholes.
Another suggestion was that the word “camel” in the text is a mistranslation of a similar Aramaic word for “rope” or a “ship’s cable”. The weight of the historical textual evidence however is stacked up against this view.
The plain and simple fact was that Jesus was making a point here. He was emphasising just how exceedingly difficult it is for a rich person to enter heaven. What he says then is it is in fact an impossibility…. …. …. At least in terms of man’s thinking and understanding.
This is made clear by the discussion that unfolds between Christ and his disciples in verses 26 and 27.
3. Utter Inability (v.26-27)
3. Utter Inability (v.26-27)
In verse 26, we see the response of the disciples:
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
The logical conclusion that the disciples came to when they heard the words of Jesus was that it is impossible for a person to be saved. The picture that Jesus described was precisely given in order to demonstrate this fact.
Notice Christ’s response to the disciples in verse 27:
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
These are critical words from Christ, and we would do well to acknowledge them! The disciples had recognised that according to what Christ had just taught them, as a rich man, that to be saved was indeed an impossibility.
Christ confirms their deduction – with man, this salvation is impossible!! Friends, let that sink in for a moment!! Consider the predicament of man, particularly those who are wealthy. What a strangle hold wealth places, and the pursuit of wealth places on a person.
In the normal human sense, salvation is an impossibility. With human understanding and reasoning, salvation is impossible. With human ability and effort, salvation is impossible.
But notice that Christ doesn’t leave the disciples in a place of hopelessness. Those gracious and powerful words of Christ:
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
We serve a God who is not limited by the impossibilities of our own understanding and reasoning. We serve a God who does as He pleases in the heavens and on the earth. We serve a God who is sovereign in all His ways. We serve a God who is present everywhere at every moment in time, has all knowledge, and has all power. Not only that, but we serve a God who has all wisdom. Take those attributes together, and you’ve got hope!! Your hope is trust in the almighty, sovereign God.
What is left then is an entire dependence upon the grace and mercy of God. If a man is to be saved at all, he must be born from above. Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (, NASB95)
We need not only a fleshly birth, but we need birth by the Spirit. God’s grace must work in our heart of a man to transform us to such a point where we recognise our utter need for him and his mercy in order to be saved.
4. Rewards (v.28-30)
4. Rewards (v.28-30)
This discussion leads the disciples to consider their own position before Christ, thinking back to the fact that they had left their work, their incomes, their day jobs, and they had followed Christ. And so, we read in verse 28:
Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
Peter here speaks out on behalf of the disciples, and reminds Jesus that they had indeed left all they had and owned, and had become the followers of Christ. Perhaps there was a hint of panic in his voice, as he hoped to receive a positive response, at least one with a little more encouragement than the rich young ruler had received. The response was indeed positive:
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.
The promise from Jesus is this: If you leave your earthly goods, and you don’t cling on to your earthly treasures and possessions, then you will have great riches. It is clear that this promise is for all true followers of the Lord. It is not a promise for The Twelve alone. It is for all who have chosen Christ above all else, even above their dearest relatives and most cherished possessions. They have made a sacrifice, says Jesus, “for my sake and for the gospel’s sake,” meaning: they were motivated by love for me and for my message of salvation.
Here is the essential focal point of what Christ desires – that we be motivated by a deep love for Him. That we be motivated for a deep love for the Gospel – recognizing the great salvation that is made available to all who would believe in Him.
I must point out here that if we focus all of our attention on what we leave behind, then we miss the joy and delight of the Gospel. The entire point here is that Christ and the kingdom, following Him and honoring Him, are of far greater worth and value, far greater fulfilment than any earthly treasures could ever be!!! Recall the parable of the man who finds a treasure in the field. He sells all that he has, and goes and buys that field. Christ is better!!! Christ is worth more.
These loyal followers of the Lord are promised “a hundredfold,” that is, they will be reimbursed “many times over” (). What is striking from this passage is that these blessings a hundredfold are to be enjoyed even in the present day!! So what is this? Some health, wealth and prosperity message – sow your seed and you will reap a hundredfold? You’ll become rich? Not at all!! What is this blessing of a hundredfold?
In the passage, they are listed as homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields. Who are these brothers and sisters and mothers and children? None other than the church – those who are family in Christ. Remember the account of Jesus’ family coming to “take charge” of Him in . He asked the question: who are my mother and my brothers and sisters? And the answer – whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother!
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,” (, NASB95)
When a person recognizes the supremacy of Christ, and the great message of salvation impacts powerfully in their heart, they leave their allegiance to the world and to the things of the world, and they are transferred over into citizenship in the kingdom of heaven. Even as they continue to live in this physical world, their allegiance is not here. Their focus is not here.
Instead, their focus is on God’s kingdom. Their focus is on the kingdom of Christ. And their allegiance is to His kingdom work. And that kingdom work takes place within the context of local churches, which is God’s family.
Dear friends, have you come to recognize the great blessing of God’s family, the church? A wonderful picture of this is found in the book of Acts, just after Pentecost, as many people were radically converted under the powerful working of God’s Spirit, and they recognized their unity with others in Christ, and they cared for each other out of a deep sense of love for one another as part of the family of God.
“And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (, NASB95)
What a beautiful picture of the family of God!
5. Kingdom Principle (v.31)
5. Kingdom Principle (v.31)
Finally, notice the kingdom principle that Christ conveys in verse 31:
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
In this life, it appears always to us that those who have riches are ahead. We think in our minds that if a person is wealthy, then they’ve got it made. We strive to get that place where we feel that we’re ahead! But the reality is that as soon as you’ve gotten to that point, you realise there are a whole host of people who are ahead of you. Furthermore, you may begin to realise that even all that wealth didn’t really bring the joy and satisfaction that you thought it may bring.
At the end of the day, the many who are first (or at least think they are first, and are first in terms of their wealth) will be last, and the last first.
Where are you striving to place yourself on this ladder of status and possessions and wealth. Where is your heart’s desire in this regard?
Application and Conclusion
Application and Conclusion
As we begin to think of some points of application this morning, let me ask you the question: If Jesus had to arrive here this morning, and stand in front of you, and say to you – go immediately, sell all that you own, and give it to the poor, and then come. Come and follow me. Would you do it? Would you?
And I want to suggest to you, that if your response to that question from Christ is to begin to object, and to begin to tell Jesus that he’s being inconsistent in his word….
Jesus you said…
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (, NASB95)
Now you’re telling me to leave everything, such that I won’t be able to provide for my family…!?
Or Jesus, what about when that servant of yours names Paul said to the Thessalonians…
“… if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” (, NASB95)
Or doesn’t your word say in …
“… as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.” (, NASB95)
Or didn’t you say in your Word in …
“Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (, NASB95)
Jesus…I’ve worked diligently. This is the fruit of my labour. It is a gift from you. How can you tell me to just sell everything and give it away? I would just be negligent!!
Is that perhaps how you would respond to Jesus if he arrived here today and asked you to do this? Giving him the Scriptures that he’s given us… a bit of inconsistency there isn’t it?
My admonition / exhortation to you, if you see yourself responding to Jesus in just such a way, is that you need to seriously go and do some heart searching. You need to ask yourself if you have truly placed Christ as supreme in your life. Is He truly on the throne?
Let me give you an example from the Scripture demonstrating why I say this.
You recall the account of Abraham and his son Isaac. God gave Abraham a command, saying to Him:
““Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”” (, NASB95)
Offer your only son as a burnt offering on the mountain!!! And Abraham could have said…. Now just hold on a minute. God, you’re being inconsistent. You’re being unreasonable!!!
Remember that you gave me a promise… you said you were going to give me descendants that can’t be numbered.
But then remember, Sarah wasn’t falling pregnant, so I tried my own plan to help the situation, and had a child by Hagar. But God you said that I shouldn’t do this… that you’re going to bring about the fulfilment of this promise to me through my offspring through Sarah. But now you’re telling me to kill my son.
But God…. You’ve made it very clear since Cain killed Abel, that if a man sheds the blood of another man, then by the hand of men his blood shall be shed. But now you’re telling me to offer up my son Isaac.
God, you’re being inconsistent.
Abraham could have thrown God’s promises at Him, kicked against God’s instruction, told him how unreasonable he was being. But he didn’t. Why?
Because he had faith in God!!!
Because God was first in His life, and when God told Him to do something, he did it.
This was not about what seemed reasonable or rational. This was about obedience to a direct instruction from God.
And Abraham believed that if God commanded him to kill his son, then God would also be able to afterwards raise him from the dead in order to fulfil his promises to him ()
The rich young ruler in this account was tested, but he failed. He demonstrated through his failure that he was not prepared to trust in God, and to trust in Christ, to the point where he would give up everything.
That’s why I say to you, that if you are not prepared to give up everything today if Jesus has to appear before you right now…then you need to do some heart searching.
God must be first dear friends. He will not accept second. We must put him first!
Let me summarise for a moment, before we bring some further points of application.
We need to recognise first and foremost the key thrust of the message that Christ is conveying here to his disciples – Christ is worthy more than anything. Worth more than wealth.
Wealth is a severe stumbling block to gaining access into the kingdom of God. Christ used very strong words and teaching to convey this.
Coupled with that however, we need to keep in mind the words of hope that Christ brought across. There is hope, not because man should by his own strength overcome his temptations towards wealth, but rather because we serve a powerful God! This is the message of the Gospel – the good news that Christ died for us in order to break the chains of bondage to sin. It is by God’s grace that we are saved!
So, friends, let us be encouraged in the fact that our God is the God who performs wonders, who has all power, and who is not limited by physical, human limitations. He is sovereign.
““I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (, NIV84)
But having said that, let us recognise and acknowledge this morning that this temptation of money, wealth and possessions continues as a very real and present danger in our lives. And we need to recognise this temptation, and we need to actively take steps to evaluate ourselves and recognise when we are placing our trust in this wealth.
Firstly, let us consider some warnings from Scripture with regards to wealth.
Avoid Boasting and Arrogance
We’ve already looked briefly at , but it’s worth repeating:
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (, NIV84)
The prophet Jeremiah warns that a man should not boast in his riches.
“This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.” (, NIV84)
“A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.” (, NIV84)
Don’t Trust in your Riches
“Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.” (, NIV84)
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (, NIV84)
Don’t pursue riches as top priority
Parable of the sower…
““Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.” (, NASB95)
““And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (, NASB95)
Secondly, learn to find ultimate security in God alone! Learn to delight yourself in God alone.
““No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (, NASB95)
In this life, if we are trusting in God, we have no need to be anxious. We have no need to desire riches. We should not prioritize them over God.
Consider these verses from Scripture, about God being ultimate in our lives:
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (, NIV84)
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” (, NIV84)
“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” (, NIV84)
“The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at him, saying, “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”” (, NIV84)
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”” (, NIV84)
Closing thoughts. Consider that there is no greater wealth and treasure that to participate in the kingdom of God, and the riches that come with God’s kingdom!
What are some of those riches of God that we can delight in as His children?
“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (, NIV84)
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (, NIV84)
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (, NIV84)
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (, NIV84)
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (, NIV84)
“Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (, NIV84)
 Alcorn, Randy (2003). Money, Possessions and Eternity (p. 3). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
 Garland, D. E. (1996). Mark (p. 401). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.