Matthew, Chapter 9

- י ז ל -

Why a Wealthy Person Can’t Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.(Matthew 19:16-24)

A pupil approaches Jesus to ask how he can enter the Kingdom of Heaven and merit eternal life. Jesus answers him that he must follow all the ethical commandments of the law—such as honoring our parents, refraining from any form of murder or theft, and the like—but that if a person truly wants to be righteous, he must relinquish the pursuit of money and materialism and generously share his wealth. Wealth corrupts and deprives the wealthy from entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Redemption and eternal life are available only to those who choose to climb the spiritual ladder. All other roads lead to unsatisfactory, ephemeral pleasures. That is why we must suppress our ego and engage in a life filled with spirituality and good deeds.

Self-control relates to the principle of restriction; it is the ability to feel and notice without responding reactively.