Do you know the 10 commandments

You know the commandments

When Jesus was on his way again, a man ran up to him, fell on his knees in front of him and asked him: Good Master, what must I do to gain eternal life? Jesus answered: Why do you call me good? Nobody is good but God the One. You know the commandments: you shouldn't kill, you shouldn't commit adultery, you shouldn't steal, you shouldn't testify wrongly, you shouldn't commit robbery; honor your father and mother! He replied, Master, I have obeyed all of these commandments from my youth. Then Jesus looked at him, and because he loved him, he said: One thing is still missing: Go, sell what you have, give the money to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven that will last; then come and follow me! But the man was sad when he heard this, and went away sad; for he had a great fortune. Then Jesus looked at his disciples and said to them: How difficult it is for people who have much to enter the kingdom of God! The disciples were dismayed at his words. But Jesus said to them again: My children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! A camel is more likely to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. But they were even more frightened and said to each other: Who can then still be saved? Jesus looked at her and said: It is impossible for humans, but not for God; because everything is possible for God. Peter said to him: You know that we have left everything and followed you. Jesus answered, Amen, I say to you, everyone who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will receive a hundredfold for it: Now at this time he will be houses, brothers , Sisters, mothers, children and fields receive, albeit under persecution, eternal life in the world to come.

Mk 10, 17-30





This gospel of abundance and discipleship has always moved me, but also piqued me. It contains strong sentences like: "A camel is more likely to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man into the kingdom of God". Associated with this is a horror of who Jesus means by the rich - because I, or we, for example, are very rich in comparison with the majority of the population on this earth who live in the so-called developing countries. Do we have a chance at all? Aren't we all a bit like the camel that, under the conditions that Jesus describes to the young man, can never make the way through the eye of the needle and thus into the kingdom of God?

Two messages of this gospel are important to me:

Financial wealth is not only unimportant for Jesus, but rather a wrong path. With all possible interpretations - his statement in verse 21 is clear: "Go, sell what you have, give the money to the poor, and you will have a lasting treasure in heaven; then come and follow me!" Wealth is not for our private well-being, but should be shared. For this reason, for example, the annual Caritas campaign "Poverty makes you sick" is a necessary campaign. Whoever wants to live in a Christian way has to look to the poor and be ready to share. And even in our Basic Law this was stipulated in an expanded form after the war: Art 14 (2): "Property obliges. Its use should also serve the common good." This message is a great challenge for us, because it is easy to say, but not easily implemented in everyday life. For example, more and more expectations are now being directed towards each individual to make better provisions for themselves - to invest "wealth" for later. But where is the right measure?

The second message can only be seen in the context of the whole narrative. Someone comes to Jesus and wants to lead a better, more fulfilling life - he is driven by a longing. Jesus first gives him a "simple" answer, which is to keep the commandments; maybe so that he can lead a "normal" life. But the young man wants more. Then it is said that because Jesus loves him, he urges him to give his riches to the poor. It's too much for him. He goes away sad.


His disciples and friends are also shocked at what they hear. How is someone supposed to get into the kingdom of heaven? But then, next to the sentence with the camel and the eye of a needle, Jesus puts the statement: "Nothing is impossible for God". Jesus does not remove the tension. Wealth is not an end in itself - this is what Jesus speaks against all speculators and moneymakers. But he leaves a path open that we cannot go without God's help.

I was on the Camino de Santiago with friends and family this year. There are many people around who also ask about the "more" in life, about meaning, spirituality - perhaps similar to the young man with Jesus. There are no easy answers; exciting questions remain, how my life should go on. But there are encounters along the way - with other people, maybe also with God, nature. These are usually just first attempts to answer. Some things make us sad because they are difficult to implement in everyday life. But Jesus offers this hope that many things are possible with God - but I have to set off. In the further course he appeases his disciples by telling them that whoever leaves home or brothers for his sake will receive a hundredfold for it. I have to leave the familiar - not everything, because it means: one thing or the other. Let go, set off and search. It is worth going this route.


Tip: If you are ever near Freiburg and want to go on a "little pilgrimage" for yourself, with God ... there is the life path in Ortisei. More information (also virtually) at:


Helmut Ellensohn

Head and diocesan representative of the telephone pastoral care in Freiburg



Bible: Burkard Vogt / Pixelio

Caritas Campaign 2012 "Poverty Makes Sick", Caritas