The Kingdom and Wealth (January 20)

Mark 10:17-31


I have lots of stuff. Maybe you do too. I like my stuff. We Americans tend to be materialistic. I thought about what it would be like to give up things I like: my house, our wedding Gazebo, my father’s high school ring (we graduated from the same high school and I lost my ring), my bike, my EKU gear. After studying this lesson I felt convicted and gave myself a simple assignment. Give away something valuable to me; Something that I can’t or won’t go out tomorrow and replace; Something I don’t want to give away; Something I will miss; Something that will mean more, or at least as much, to someone else as it does to me; Not to a family member. I haven’t decided yet what that thing is. So far I am not enjoying this assignment. I pray that when I decide on what I should give away, that I do so with joy.

Reading the Scripture

Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    Video:
o    A scene from the movie, Jesus of Nazareth, depicts the story of the rich young ruler. See our web page.
o    “Rich Young Ruler” by the Skit Guys is a modern day dramatization of the story from today’s scripture passage. See our web page.
o    WatchWord Bible, New Testament on DVD is available in the library. (These videos display and read the text in Contemporary English Version with background pictures, video and sound. Not exactly dramatized or all that exciting, but could be another way to read the text.)

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
o    Faith Comes by Hearing: You’ve Got the Time (Dramatized New Testament we used a few years ago during Lent. Available in the library and the church office.

Teaching Suggestions

•    You might be rich: Before we judge the rich as someone else, consider:
o    According the US Census Bureau the median household income for Boyle County residents 2007-2011 was $41,035.
o    The median household income for Powell County residents (where Nada is located) was $28,382.00 in 2007-2011. Household income in the Nada community would be less than this.
o    The average annual per capita income of residents of Morocco was $5,000 in 2010. Of course, African refugees living in Morocco would live on next to nothing per year.
o    More than a third of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day:
o    The CIA World Fact Book webpage lists the average per capita income for 228 countries:

•    In a church our size there are bound to be members struggling with debt. Help is available. John Stomberger and Scotty Vanderpool are willing to suggest referrals to members who might be burdened by debt. You could offer to your class, in general, that if anyone is stressed about finances there is help available.

•    My testimony: This passage important for me in understanding my call to salvation. This passage spoke to me before I made a public profession of faith. I felt, rather than asking me to sell all I had, Jesus asked me to reveal my private self and make my faith public. This was the thing that held me back. For a time, I was unwilling to open up and share publicly my desire to follow Jesus. Jesus knows what we are unwilling to surrender to follow God completely. For me I was unwilling to reveal my inner self to others.

•    Why is this story in Mark shocking, perplexing, and astounding? (See verses 22, 23, 26)

•    Share some famous quotes on money. See the attached sheet at the end of this session.


I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons. Other resources are kept in my office.

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)

Money Quotes

“Seven Deadly Sins

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
― Oscar Wilde

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”
― Dorothy Parker

“A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned”
― Benjamin Franklin

“I think the key indicator for wealth is not good grades, work ethic, or IQ. I believe it's relationships. Ask yourself two questions: How many people do I know, and how much ransom money could I get for each one?”
― Jarod Kintz

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
― Oprah Winfrey

“As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”
― Anne Herbert

“This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

“While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.”
― Groucho Marx

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
― Albert Einstein

“With all the money my uncle embezzled over the years, it's no surprise he lives in a gated community. But what is amazing, however, is that he somehow managed to get his own cell.”
― Jarod Kintz, It Occurred to Me

“There’s no way that Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand droople billion dollars and then there’s people starving. There’s no way! There’s no way that these people should own planes and there people don’t have houses. Apartments. Shacks. Drawers. Pants! I know you’re rich. I know you got 40 billion dollars, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need ONE house. And if you only got two kids, can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there’s somebody with no room?! It just don’t make sense to me. It don’t.”
― Tupac Shakur

“Making money isn't hard in itself... What's hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one's life to.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

“Too many people spend money they buy things they don't impress people that they don't like.”
― Will Rogers
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.”
― Harry S. Truman