I turned to Matthew 19 to look at the story in which Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Then my Quaker seminary training reminded me to check the stories that came before and after to see how they would shed more light on the story, and what I found just blew me away. Here’s the deal:
First comes “unless you are like a child, you can’t get into heaven”. Then Jesus talked about how hard it is for a rich person to get into heaven. This is followed by the sons of Zebedee arguing about who gets to sit next to Jesus, and they’re told that the first shall be last and vice versa. They are also scolded for their blindness, immediately following which Jesus gives sight to two beggars, his last act before he rides into Jerusalem to be crucified.
Do I detect a theme?
Jesus places children above adults, poor people above rich people, servants above masters, blind beggars above his own disciples. And these are the final words of his itinerant ministry, so they must have been important.
Jesus tells us who the spiritual giants in society are: people who are unsophisticated, poor, have low status professions, and have a disability.
Whenever I bring up this topic, I want to emphasize that I’m not suggesting that you maim yourself, take substances that reduce your mental capacity to that of a three-year old, sell all your belongings, or take a low status profession. Guilt is not a language spoken in this blog. My God-given language is Abundance.
Lovingly, promising a life of spiritual abundance, Jesus gives us a recipe for health: turn things upside-down.
Query for prayerful consideration:
What is God asking me to turn upside-down in my own life?