A morsel to chew on as you progress through your day:
"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." (v. 20)
The Spirit tells me this is exactly as Jesus said it. Blessed are the poor, happy are the poor, smiled upon are the poor. You are lacking nothing. We are lacking nothing because we are right where Father can interact with us the most.
The poor have no resources. They have no support. There is no one to back us up. When we are sick Jesus is the only one who can bring healing because we can't afford anything else. This is a good thing because we are forced to do exactly what Father wants us to do, to lean on him, to turn to him, to trust, to hope, to cry out.
When we have no food, when we can't pay the bills, when we can't do what we need to do, we are right where he wants all his children to be: completely dependent on him. It is not a position of shame but one of strength. The poor have much greater spiritual muscles than the rich because we have to exercise them far more. We are more often upon our knees. We have no pride left. We are desperate enough to believe, to trust and to live in faith; praising him for everything we have, with thankful hearts.
Being poor is not a position of weakness but a place of strength. Scripture again and again tells us that Father looks to glorify himself through our weakness and when we don't have the things of this world to lean on we are in a better position to see him glorified through us. But we really are not poor. Far from it. We are rich beyond understanding. We lack nothing because he is our provider. Only to this world do we look poor but in the Kingdom we are rich because we have Jesus.
"Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation." (v. 24)
What a sad life to live, to have only what is seen and miss out on the greater things that cannot be seen. What a sad existence if this is all there is. It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom. There is so much stuff filling up a rich man's existence. So much harder to let it go. So many more options. So many different thoughts and perspectives. So much garbage filling their heads.
To follow Jesus we have to be willing to lose it all, to give it away, to become nothing so he can become everything. How much easier it is to do this when you already have nothing than if your life is filled with possessions and perverse thinking. Those who rely on such things had better enjoy them while they can because that is all they are getting.
Rich or poor, the only way is Jesus Christ. Rich or poor, it will still require your death. Rich or poor, it still costs your all. It is the realization that the only thing that satisfies is Jesus. The only blessing is Jesus. The only peace and joy is Jesus.
It isn't impossible for the rich to possess the kingdom, it's just easier for the poor.