Friday, 20 March 2009

Jesus and economic justice

Give out an image and a sound:

Give out a thought:

Ched Myers, writing on the story of the rich, young ruler.

‘Christians have been so anxious that Jesus might be saying something exclusive or critical about the rich that they have missed the fact that this triplet is not a statement about them at all. It is a statement about the nature of the Kingdom. These reiterations – all in the indicative mood – insist that the Kingdom of God is simply that social condition in which there are no rich and poor. By definition then, the rich cannot enter – not, that is, with their wealth intact…

Jesus is not inviting this man to change his attitude toward his wealth, nor to treat his servants better, nor to reform his personal life. He is asserting the precondition for discipleship: economic justice.’

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  1. This is some interesting thoughts. Of course Jesus did not say that the rich can not entre the Kingdom of God but that it is hard for the rich to entre the Kingdom. This implies that it is not the riches themselves that was the problem with this man as it was possible for him to entre, even if it would be hard, but something related to his riches. We find the answer in Marks fuller account in which Jesus say’s how hard it is for those who trust in riches to entre the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:24 NJKV). Here we see the real issue, by trusting in his riches he had broken the commandment to love the Lord God with all his heart. To trust in riches or anything else instead of the only Saviour will be a stumbling block to any wanting to entre the Kingdom.

    The only place I see scripture really excluding some one from the Kingdom is on the issue of being born again (John 3:3). According to Jesus no matter how much we try to bring the Kingdom of God, people will not even be able to see it much less entre it if they do not go through that spiritual rebirth by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. That, I believe, is our priority and everything else flows from that.

    Here’s a thought, if the rich young ruler had been born again with that new heart then perhaps giving his riches to the poor would not have been such a big issue for him!

  2. brill...who got you onto Foy Grinner?