Mark 10:23 AV
And Jesus looked round about¹,
and saith² unto his disciples³,
How hardly⁴ shall they that have riches⁵
enter into the kingdom of God!
¹) To look round on one (i.e. to look for one’s self at one near by).
²) To point out with words.
⁴) With difficulty.
⁵) A thing, a matter, affair, event, business; specifically: money, riches.
And Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, With what difficulty will those who possess wealth and keep on holding it enter the kingdom of God! [AMP] And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" [ESV] Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, "Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who "have it all' to enter God's kingdom?" [MSB] And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! [KJV] Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" [NIV] Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for rich people to get into the Kingdom of God!" [NLT] Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" [NKJV]
Some further information
And Jesus looked round about
Jesus looked around on His disciples, to see what effect the discourse He had with the young man, and the consequence of it, had upon His disciples.
And also to raise their attention to what He was about to say next.
Enter into the kingdom of God
▪︎ Either into the Gospel dispensation, and receive the truths, and submit to the ordinances of it,
▪︎ or into the Kingdom of glory hereafter.
Not but that there have been, are, and will be, some that are rich, called by grace, brought into a Gospel church state, and are heirs of the Kingdom of heaven; though these are but comparatively few.
Nor is it riches themselves that make the entrance so difficult, and clog the way into grace or glory, but putting trust and confidence in them; and therefore in Mark, they “that have riches”, are by the Christ explained of such, that “trust in riches”; which rich men in common are very apt to do, as this young man did.
It is this against which Jesus warns the apostles ( 1 Timothy 6:17 )
This word is translated from the Greek word: βασιλεία (basileia).
Basileia can have the meaning of
▪︎ Royal power, kingship, dominion, rule; not to be confused with an actual kingdom, but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom. In such a case it of:
• The royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah,
• or of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Kingdom of the Messiah.
▪︎ A literal kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king.
In the New Testament it is used to refer to the reign of the Messiah.
The Hebrew word ‘mashiyach’ – in Greek Μεσσιας (Messias) – means ‘anointed’ or ‘anointed one’ and is in the Amplified Version 37 times translated with anointed, and twice as Messiah.
It is used for:
• the Messiah, Messianic prince
• the king of Israel
• the high priest of Israel
• the patriarchs as anointed kings
(Heb. mashiyach), in all the thirty–nine instances of its occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX. “Christos.”
Thus priests (Exodus 28:41, 40:15; Numbers 3:3) prophets (1 Kings 19:16) and kings (1 Samuel 9:16, 16:3; 2 Samuel 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices.
The great Messiah is anointed “above his fellows” (Psalms 45:7) i.e., he embraces in Himself all the three offices.
The Greek form “Messias” is only twice used in the New Testament, in John 1:41, and 4:25) (Revised Version: “Messiah”), and in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the Hebrew, also occurs only twice (Daniel 9:25,26), (Revised Version: “the anointed one”).
The first great promise (Genesis 3:15) contains in it the germ of all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on earth.
The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed out,
1. the patriarchal;
2. the Mosaic;
3. the period of David;
4. the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon.
As the man leaves, Jesus looks around the circle of disciples (Mark 3:5,34) and sighs at His futile call to follow Him: ‘how difficult will those who have riches enter the Kingdom of God’ .
After all, entering the Kingdom requires a complete renunciation of everything on which man has put his trust until then (money, possessions, a social position, etc.) in order to place his trust solely in God and the Lord Jesus from now on (cf. Mark 10:15).
For those who have a lot of money and possessions and are thus at least materially assured of a bright future, this step can be very difficult, because it requires him to let go of all his certainties.
Wealth can therefore easily push the question of eternal life into the background because it draws attention to this life and not to the life to come (Luke 12:16-21, 16:19-31).
Now let us reflect on this
It is actually a pity that when reading this text there is often talked about money, because that is actually not what it says here. It speaks of riches, of possessions.
Therefore it would be better to say: “How difficult will those who have possessions enter into the Kingdom of God”.
Thus translated, this passage does not become a mere message to those who are rich, but also for the people who own less. For you certainly don’t have to be rich to be tied to earthly possessions.
To give just one example: How many are there who are certainly not rich, but who almost idolize their cars? Even if it is only a second or even third hand!
Anyone who is bound, that is, tied to earthly possessions, will have difficulties to participate in the Kingdom of God. For the Kingdom of God is not of this world.
While we’re still tied to the things of this world, our hearts will be divided.
That is why Jesus said to the young man who had many goods:
“Sell everything you own … give it to the poor … and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21).
Paul apparently also understood it very well, which is why he also says:
1 Corinthians 7:29-32 NASB
²⁹But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; ³⁰and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; ³¹and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
³²But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord
All this world can offer us is uncertain wealth. And you can bring none of it with you when you die.
But our uncertain riches can become immensely meaningful when we keep our hopes fixed on God only, and we realize that He is only giving all of this to us as a loan, to do good with it as long as we are on earth. This, in order to obtain true life, detached from any earthly possessions.
When others come to see the richness of this, it will bring about much redemptive imitation!
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl