BECK index / Contents / Index to Gospel Passages


67. On Riches.

Goodness is from God, and if a person takes praise and attaches it to one's personal ego, then one separates oneself from others. Therefore Jesus always turned praise to God. In order to find the spiritual life, the greatest commandment is to love others as much as one loves oneself. (Loving oneself is also important and fundamental.)

The man had been careful not to break any of the negative commandments, but Jesus loving him could see that he had not yet loved others as much as himself. Therefore since the person was asking how to perfect himself, Jesus advised him to give all his material wealth to the poor who need it, and this would be a great blessing for all including him. (The poor's blessings would be obvious, but his blessing would be spiritual and inward.) Then he could follow the Christ freely without attachments. However, the challenge of what the man was asking proved to be too much for him.

Jesus observed how difficult it is for people to give up their material wealth and share with others, even to enter the sovereignty of God. A "rich" person has trouble entering, because they cannot take their riches into the sovereignty; they don't fit. Only the soul goes through the eye of the needle. The minds of the disciples began to wonder if anybody could be saved, but transcending human limitation Jesus asserted the total freedom and ability of God.

Peter indicated that the disciples gave up everything to follow the Christ. Jesus affirmed the value of giving up all personal attachments to follow the spiritual path, and that by being detached they would still have access to all these things but in the best way according to God's will and, after some trials, spiritual liberation. Jesus compared his disciples to the future kings of the twelve tribes of Israel, implying that this dispensation would lead to a rebirth and fulfillment of Jewish prophecy.

Nevertheless the first and the last are all equally divine in the unity of God. The spiritual awakening occurs over time with some working over a long time, while others may just come in near the end. However, they all receive the same reward, and the last ones to enter the spiritual consciousness seem to be first, while the ones who were working all along seem to be last. The goodness of God is for everyone.

Harmony 67 * Synthesis 67
68. Request of James and John Harmony 68 * Synthesis 68 * Interpretation 68