[The Gospel According to…] Mark 10:17-31

Bible opened to Mark 10 with Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cup and wrapper

Today’s passage: Mark 10:17-31

Yesterday, I concluded that investigating the kingdom of God and what it stands for will give us insights into the gospel. Conveniently, today’s passage explicitly mentions both the kingdom of God and the gospel.

So, a man with lots of property is unwilling to sell all his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Jesus in order to inherit eternal life. After the man walks away grieved, Jesus remarks to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (23). Is it that material wealth is bad? I don’t believe so. Rather, it’s that the kingdom of God sides with the afflicted, those suffering in poverty, and the rich are inclined in practice to value their own comfort more than helping the poor with their wealth. The wealthy have the deck stacked against them, in a manner of speaking; you can’t have the deck stacked against you when you’re too poor to own a deck.

Leastways, that’s how it is with me. Consider how well-off most of us in America are. If you make more than $90 a day, you are in the top 1% of income earners in the world. Do you have internet access? More than half of the global population doesn’t. Worldwide, fewer than one person in ten has attended college. And while I occasionally donate to charitable causes, I am largely doing jack squat to help the poor. Jesus’ teachings on the kingdom of God should unsettle me.

Following that by talking about the chocolate I enjoyed this morning is going to give us all mood whiplash, but whatever, let’s just lean into it. Welcome to Cognitive Dissonance Theater; I’m your host, Jackson Ferrell.

Today I had an Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cup. These things cost me eighty cents each, which on a certain level is frustrating when I could be buying an eight-pack of Reese’s for under twenty cents a cup. Fortunately, as I discovered this morning, Unreal’s peanut butter cups are frigging crazy delicious. And (unlike Justin’s peanut butter cups) they’re amenable to my favorite way to eat a peanut butter cup: peeling off the chocolate with your teeth until you’re left with a gooey lump of peanut butter.

close-up of Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cup stripped of half its shell

As of this morning, I greatly prefer Unreal. They’re organic and vegan too, but more importantly, they’re fair-trade certified. I suppose your product is bound to cost more when you’re paying everyone along the way a fair wage for their labor–and I was willing to pay the higher price. Just goes to show there’s a market for ethical business practices, right?

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