When we love as God loves, it’s not because anyone “deserves” it.
S2:E36 EPISODE SUMMARY
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
And it’s probably easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is to resolve the technical difficulties that came along with this particular episode, too! At any rate, Lindsey lost first audio and then video, so Adam was flying solo for this episode! And he did a great job!
Maybe God was having a little bit of fun behind the scenes, too… and driving the point home. After all, this passage is about the willingness to give up everything that we think matters when it comes to making a name and identity for ourselves and instead finding that we have all we need, and can be all we are meant to be, in the love of God and each other. Lindsey discovered that as much as she wanted to join in the conversation and make brilliant points, she felt loved and blessed to have compassionate, understanding friends and a cohost who could carry the show on his own.
The rich man wanted to do something to get into heaven. Maybe he wanted something to make him feel valiant and heroic. Jesus reminds him of what is written in the law, all the commandments that have to do with human relationships. Are you doing what you can to make sure your relationships with your fellow human beings are in good shape? The man replies that he is. Then Jesus looks on him, loves him, and tells him that the one thing he still needs to do is sell everything and give all the money to the poor. The man goes away sad, because his possessions have possessed him… that is, he has made his wealth a cornerstone of his identity and self-understanding.
Maybe Jesus pitied the man because he knows how hard it is to give up the self-centeredness that holds us back from the sheer joy of finding our truest selves in love. He loved the man’s enthusiasm and desire to prove himself, but knew how hard it would be for the man to accept that he didn’t have to prove himself. He probably wasn’t so attached to his possessions as he was to the pride he had in earning them.
But in a world where we take care of each other, we don’t have to rely on earning anything. When we love as God loves, it’s not because anyone “deserves” it. It’s because in God’s kingdom, love is who God is and love is who we will be. There, we won’t need “ownership” of anything. We won’t need an economy of exchange where some are left out because they can’t “earn” their living. We will have an economy of mutual care and compassion instead.
It might take some longer to get there than others. The more we have to lose of the things of this world that make for wealth and success, the harder it is to let go. But God makes all things possible. The last may be first and the first last, but the Beloved Community awaits us all.
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, as John Lennon, and Jesus before him, said.
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And imagine a world in which audio and video work for both cohosts! Hopefully you won’t have to imagine it, and you can join in and make that world all the more wonderful with your presence, next week on Jesus Unmasked at every Wednesday, live, at 11 am CT/ 9 am PT on the Raven Foundation Facebook page.