Greed is covetousness, or the love of having money. It is true what Paul wrote to a preacher, “For the love of money is the root of all evils, by which some coveting after have strayed from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (1 Tm 6:10). Would that more preachers in the religious world heeded those words.
It was the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who put Him on the cross. The historian Luke recorded of them, “And the Pharisees who were lovers of money … scoffed at Him” (Lk 16:14). When Jesus overturned the tables of the money-changers, He overturned more than tables (Mt 21:12,13). He overturned the very foundation upon which the religious leaders based their financial security.
The Pharisees even used greed to accomplish their mission to dispose of Jesus. Judas, too, loved money (See Jn 12:1-6). So the religious leaders “weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver” (Mt 26:15). It was greed that moved the religious leaders to remove Jesus from their economy, and it was greed they used to implement their plan through Judas to have Him betrayed, and eventually crucified.
Greed (covetousness) is the idolization of money (Cl 3:5). But we must remember that the one who is covetous cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Co 6:10). Nevertheless, we are often as Esau who was willing to sacrifice his birthright for a pot of food to satisfy the lusts of the flesh (See Gn 25). We are sometimes more concerned over the things of this world that will perish in the great bomb fire to come, than we are about those things that will permeate the end of all things (See 2 Pt 3:10-13).
The problem with greed is that it focuses our minds on things of this world. But when we are living the gospel of Jesus, we do as what Paul instructed the Colossians who were struggling with covetousness: “If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things that are above …. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Cl 3:1,2).