Camels and Money – Gospel in Life

Camels and Money

Tim Keller |  August 27, 2000

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  • Stewardship, Generosity and Money
  • Christian Living and Obedience
  • Salvation
Mark 10:17-27
RS 115-7


Today’s sermon comes from a series on the hard sayings of Jesus. In Mark 10:25, 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.” That’s as controversial now as it was then. What’s striking about this is Jesus is talking about something very basic: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” It can’t be any more basic than that. Jesus is addressing the very essence of what it means to be a Christian.

If we look at the larger context, we see that he’s actually explaining to the listeners how to become a Christian, and yet right in the middle, he brings up money. Another way to put it is if you want to be a Christian, money is an issue. This is very nuts-and-bolts. First, we’re being taught here about the spiritual dangers of money and wealth; secondly, the reasons for this danger; and thirdly, how we deal with the danger.

Mark 10:17–27

In studying the words of Jesus, we come across a deep conversation about life after death. Jesus talks about the spiritual dangers that come with being rich. He tells a rich man to give away his stuff, and this leads to a chat about how hard it can be for rich people to enter heaven. In the end, Jesus reminds us that while getting into heaven might seem impossible to us, nothing is impossible for God. This shows us just how wise and deep Jesus’ teachings are.

1. The fact of the danger

When Jesus talks to a rich young man, He shows us the spiritual problems that can come from caring more about money than faith. Money can hide the truth of Jesus’ teachings. This story also shows how Christianity has changed, moving away from power and money and towards helping those who are overlooked. The cross is a symbol of a big change, warning us about the dangers of money and power.

2. The reasons for the danger

The story of a young man asking Jesus for advice shows the emptiness that can come from being successful on the outside. Trying to fill this emptiness with money or looks doesn’t work. It makes us think about what is truly good and how we should use what we have. Misusing our stuff can lead to pride, worry, and being distant from God. The story tells us that we should be sorry for our mistakes and try to understand Jesus’ teachings better. It highlights our need for God’s help in using our blessings wisely.

3. How we deal with the danger

We can handle the power of money in our lives by understanding and being moved by the sacrifice Jesus made. He gave up His wealth to follow God’s plan. It’s important to think about how we feel about money and what we do because of it. Our trust in money should change how we act, encouraging us to give freely and sacrificially, just like Jesus did on the cross.



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