The Reading: Matthew 28:1-15
“So they took the money and did as they were directed;” (v.15) RSV
Nothing will rob us of Easter Joy more than the love of money. So many people have ruined their souls by letting money dominate their ethics. Judas Iscariot sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of food (Genesis 25:32-33). Poor people do it out of desperation, and rich people do it out of greed.
We know well the quote, “The love of money is the root of all (kinds of) evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). It is the ‘love’ of money rather than money itself that is the problem. Many a godly soul has had a lot of money, but it can so easily distract us from ‘love’ of God, and ‘love’ of our neighbour. Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:23).
The soldiers who fell asleep outside the tomb that they were meant to be guarding were only too happy not only to be excused for their failure (rather than be executed!), but also to be paid for their troubles. They could always say: ‘Our rulers told us to do so.” How often do we blame others when in fact we are only too happy to earn a back-hander? How many dictators, bankers, drug dealers, and so forth can justify the huge amount of money they get by passing the buck onto others?
Mammon is more than money; it is better expressed by ‘materialism’: power, possessions and pleasure. Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.
Lord, may I be kept free from the love of money. Thank you that I can learn to be content with what I have. Make me want to love you and my neighbours more than Mammon. Amen.
1. Which prophet was led astray by money?
Numbers 22:18-20 and 2 Peter 2:15
2. What did Jesus say to the rich young ruler?