“How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (10:23). In Jesus’ world, like ours, the “winners” were successful, prosperous, and powerful, and their achievements seemed like signs of God’s favor. Yet Jesus shocked his disciples by condemning those who loved “the best seats in the synagogues” (12:39) and got wealthy off the business of religion, declaring instead that God’s kingdom must be received with humility, as children receive, without false pride in ourselves (10:15).
“But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (10:31). The world tells us that we are defined by our public achievements and reputations, but God sees when we love and serve others without recognition.