“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Mar 10:17-22
Treasure in heaven caught my attention today. What is it? This passage makes it seem as if providing for the needs of the poor is like making a deposit into a bank account in heaven. But I wanted to be sure, so I looked up “treasure in heaven” to see what the rest of the Scripture had to say about it:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Mat 6:19-21
Jesus tells us here not to lay up treasure on earth, but to lay up treasure in heaven!
“Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luk 12:13-20
God calls the one who lays up treasure for himself without laying up treasure in heaven (“rich toward God”) a fool!
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luk 12:32-34
Giving alms was giving to the poor, so Jesus is telling us to sell what we have, and instead of putting the money we have made from the sale, into our money bag, give it to the poor. When we do that, we will have treasure in heaven. This must be because Jesus said,
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Mat 25:40
When we give to the poor who are His brethren, it is the same as if we are giving to the King, and that is how the treasure gets into heaven. Laying up treasure in heaven is the only retirement plan and the only investment that is truly safe from any ravages of the economy, for God’s economy is never ravaged!