Greed, one of the seven deadly sins, to be avoided for sure. But does Jesus promise it? Does he put the carrot of riches out in front of his followers? Does Jesus tempt you with a sin? Does he appeal to your desire for material possessions? I think so. It's in a long line of his spiritual failures, so what's one more?
Through out the Bible you'll find warnings to avoid worrying about wealth and material things. You would expect that such a great teacher could motivate people to be good without the promise of goods, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and many other's throughout history have, but Jesus can't? God can't argue as well as Ghandi? Matthew 6:20 "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal." Surely I'm not suggesting that Jesus was promising wealth? I think that I am.
The use of the word treasure is used through out the Bible as well. Genesis 43:23 Your God, the God of your Father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver." Clearly it's a reference to money here. Ecclesiastes 2:8
Gold & Silver = treasure. Let me stop here and say this. Do a search for treasure in the Bible and note the number of times it refers to wealth and is noted as a motivator. Here
, I did it for you.
OK, so maybe it was a translation problem. How do we check? Codex Sinaiticus
I believe is the earliest complete Bible, written in Greek. You'll notice on the link that I'm in Matthew 6:20
(link in English also the Christian Lexicon
is the Greek word for Treasure. If you look back at the Codex link, you'll find it used twice. So we don't have an apparent translation issue. Earliest Bible, the word is used multiple times, points directly to money. It seems straight forward. It's consistent with the Old Testament usage, why would we assume that for a 200 year period it was being used in a different manner? So we are back to it, Jesus promised riches as if it were access to goods.
While this could be brushed off, it's expanded upon with the promise of a mansion. John 14:2
find Jesus promising a room in his father's mansion, or possibly a mansion within his fathers'. Translation
Either way it's the rich kid saying if you behave, you can come over to my Dad's house and play. It's not the kind of thing that I would refer to as spiritual enlightenment. I personally find much of the Bible to be spiritually corrupt, and if you are theist, this is an example of why.
I've picked up a few of these passages at random to look at. It's not as if I'm a Biblical Scholar and might know where to look to make my specific case. These are just the passages looked at by an Atheist using information, assembled by Christians, at random. The result is that Jesus doesn't believe that his followers will follow him without promise of future wealth. He clearly can't offer it in this world, so why not the next? How will they ever disprove him? It's quite the rouse and I love that the appeal is contrary to his father's, err.. his own teachings.
Jesus was no man to follow for a multitude of reasons. I suppose that we'll just throw this down as another log on the fire and be grateful that we don't need the promise of wealth to be good to each other. We can even be good to each other, and still acquire enough wealth to have a comfortable life and have no reason to feel bad for it.