Someone has said that money is a true test of character. What a person thinks and does with his money shows his heart motives. Money itself is not evil. Some misquote this verse to read money is the root of all evil. Greed, the love of money, not money itself, is what is decried here. God wants to bless us financially and materially. But He doesn’t want the things that He blesses us with to rule our lives.
Prosperity can be a much greater test than poverty. A person who has nothing is desperate and will cry out to God for relief. A person who is sated with money can become apathetic to the Lord. He feels that He doesn’t need Him. He thinks his money can provide whatever he desires. Over the years I’ve seen so many come to church, receive Jesus, get stirred up in the Word, and slowly drift away when their needs are met.
A wealthy young man came to Jesus one day and asked him what he must do to go to heaven. He told Jesus that he kept the Ten Commandments and obeyed the law as well as he knew how (they were still living under the Old Covenant at the time). Jesus told him that he only lacked one thing. He told Him to go and sell his possessions and give the money to the poor.
Notice the young man’s response: But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions (Matthew 19:22). Actually, great possessions had him! Greed controlled his life.
Those who are blessed must be willing to go through the eye of the needle as Jesus mentioned in the above scripture. The eye of the needle was a small door in the mammoth city gate in eastern countries in Bible times. The gates were very large, and it took several people and a good bit of sweat to open them. When they were closed, it was a lot of effort to open them for only one person.
So they added a small door within the gates, called the eye of the needle that could easily allow a person through. Often the person had a camel with them that carried their goods. The camel would be loaded down with the person’s possessions, and would not fit through the small needle’s eye opening. The camel had to be unloaded, taken through the opening, and then the packages had to be placed on the animal again afterwards. It took a lot of time! The camel would just barely fit though the needle’s eye. Loaded, it could never make it.
Those who come to Jesus must be willing to give up everything to follow Him. The wealthy young man didn’t realize that God would bless him if he only entrusted his wealth to Jesus. He would more than likely have gotten it back. But his greed became a curse. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. You’ll be more blessed in the long run following Jesus if you’ll surrender everything to him. Be willing to go through the eye of the needle. The end result will be great blessing.