If one were to take every instance where the Bible speaks about money and cut it out, the book would be in tatters. Over and over again Christ calls us into the riches of Grace, but in following Jesus we must also remember his words, that the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. In the Gospel of Mark, Peter proclaims Jesus as the “Messiah.” Here the readers heart leaps, finally, someone gets it! But Jesus, rather than commending Peter, gruffly tells him to shut up.
Peter in this passage envisions the messiah as a warrior, a conqueror. It is like Peter is telling Jesus, “You are the one who is going to beat up Rome!” Yet this is not the nature of Jesus’s ministry; he does not come to conquer by killing, but rather by being killed. The next time that Jesus is called “Son of God” it is by a Roman centurion. In Mark it is not in the power of Jesus that we declare him Lord, but rather in the brokenness that he was willing to consume for our sake.
We as Christ’s church must not forget that it is not in Strength, power, and influence that we find the heart of God, but in those who this world forgets. If we find our end in the security of power and money in this world, than we are declaring Jesus wrongly, just as Peter did. If, however, we see money as a means by which we can give up all the power and glory the world offers, walking humbly, doing justice and loving mercy, then we find our end in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When we store up money in order to feel powerful and safe, we hoard. If we put money aside so that we may better serve Jesus Christ, recognizing that all we are and have belongs to him, then we are saving. Drawing black and white lines about how much is too much is not doing it justice. There are poor who hoard and rich who save, but as the privileged we must remember how much more susceptible we are to find security in these things. For those who are poor and neglected there is no façade of protection. The danger for us, who have been blessed abundantly, is that we can tend to have false confidence in our own abilities.