Rich People, Inequality and the Eye of the Needle: Why Some People Aren’t Going to Make It Home

Minister Paul J Bern
8 min readNov 6, 2021

Jesus, the Rich Man, and Inequality: Why Materialistic People Aren’t Going Home to Jesus When They Die

(Luke chapter 18, verses 15–30)

by Rev. Paul J. Bern

Last week when we left off at verse 14, we had just gone over the story of the proud Pharisee and the remorseful tax collector. As you recall, Jesus had just made a sharp contrast between the arrogance of the Pharisee and the humility of the tax collector. “He who exalts himself will be humbled”, Jesus remarked at the time, “but he/she who humbles themselves will be exalted.” This week as we take up where we left off, we find ourselves at the same time and place while the apostle Luke narrates his ongoing observations of the activities and performance of Jesus’ ministry. So let’s all begin at verse 15, shall we?

“People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter into it.’” (Luke 18, verses 15–17)

Evidently the apostles thought there was insufficient time for Jesus to be doting on and coddling little children. I would say the rebuke Jesus gave to his apostles was much sharper than the rebuke they had just given to the parents of that bunch of kids who were gathering around Jesus. That’s because the exact wording of his rebuke is not disclosed. It was probably on the order of a sergeant barking out orders to his platoon. “Do not hinder them”, he said, “for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Let them be” Unless we experience our faith like the wide-eyed wonderment of a child — as if it were Christmas morning and Jesus came to visit — we will never see the kingdom of God.

While this truism gives us the route to the heart of Christ, it does not give us license for immature behavior. So, it’s safe to say Jesus wants us to have the innocence of little kids while remaining cognizant of our…

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Minister Paul J Bern

Rev. Paul J. Bern is a Web pastor and blogger on The Social Gospel Blog on Medium and Substack. Longtime Atlanta Ga. resident; stroke survivor; piano player