Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
A rich young man came to Jesus to ask, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16).
In a previous Daily Bible Verse Blog post on Matthew 19:17-19 we explained Christ’s initial answer: “Keep the commandments.” He clearly showed He was talking about the 10 Commandments, and especially the summary great commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (verses 17-19).
But the young man was convinced he had kept all these commandments from his youth. He asked, “What do I still lack?” (verse 20).
Jesus did not reprimand the young man or call him a liar, but in love (Mark 10:21) showed a deeper level he had not yet achieved. The spirit of loving our neighbor includes sacrificing to give to those in need.
Does this mean that Jesus was calling on everyone to sell everything and give it all? No, because the rest of the Bible shows that we should take care of our families, prepare for the future and wisely manage the money we are given. In this case when the young man asked Him what more to do, Christ knew what he needed. To fully follow Christ, he had to give up his love of and trust in his riches.
The young man “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (verse 22). Christ went on to teach His disciples that though it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom, “with God all things are possible” (verses 23 and 26).
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Hosanna in the Highest!” (Matthew 21:9).