“I don’t know how many people are described as being ‘rich’ in the Bible,” Stan began, “but we have talked some about the one described as the ‘rich young ruler’ and I ran across another one when Jesus was crucified.” [Note to Reader, for Postings about the Rich Young Ruler, see Number 301, “Couldn’t or Wouldn’t” and 324 “Sad Ending With A Great Lesson”.]
“Yes,” I replied, “you described the one known as the ‘rich young ruler’ as a good bad example.”
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “He is a good example of what not to do. But the one I saw in Matthew’s gospel, he got it right.”
“Who are you talking about, Stan?”
“A fellow by the name of Joseph. He is described as being rich and as coming from Arimathea. But the most important description of him is that he was a disciple of Jesus. That puts him in stark contrast to the one referred to as the ‘rich young ruler’ who wouldn’t bring himself to become a disciple.”
Continuing, Stan said, “It seems to me that this Joseph fellow is a prime example that being rich and being a disciple of Jesus are not mutually exclusive. A person can be both, but being a disciple puts a rich person in a totally different category in regard to the riches that come from God’s blessing.”
“The young fellow put the riches he had been blessed with in front of his commitment to God. It seems to me that Joseph got his priorities right. He was both rich and a disciple. The role he played in preparing Jesus for burial and resurrection will be remembered forever.”
“But,” Stan concluded, “the rich young ruler went away to never be heard from again, except as being a good bad example regarding misplaced priorities.”
“Good thing to keep in mind,” I replied, “regarding whatever worldly riches God chooses to bless me with. Discipleship comes first.”
And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. Matthew 27:57.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for showing me what you intend when you lay out the requirements for discipleship. Denying self, taking up what you have for me to do whatever the cost, and following you wherever you lead. I confess that too often I allow worldly goods and riches to get in the way of my discipleship. Please forgive me. And please lead me exactly as you want so I truly put my discipleship ahead of everything else. Lead me in using whatever you choose to bless me with only for you and your purposes. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.