Commands of Christ: 65

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. 

An official asked him this question, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.  You know the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother.’”  And he replied, “All of these I have observed from my youth.”  When Jesus heard this he said to him, “There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  But when he heard this he became quite sad, for he was very rich. Luke 18:18-23

Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”  He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”  He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness;  honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”  The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”  Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:16-22

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Luke 12:33

I find it interesting that every time I have heard anyone teach on the Luke 18 or Matthew 19 passages above, they are quick to point out that the Lord is asking that particular individual to do this, and it isn’t intended for others.  The Luke 12 passage above, however, is a general teaching given to His disciples.  It seems clear from that passage that Jesus is instructing us not to accumulate wealth but rather to be generous in giving our surplus to those in need.  This command comes with a promise of wealth in heaven in all three passages.  Our hearts are where our treasure is.  To say it differently, what we treasure is what we value.  If we value the principles and purposes of the Kingdom it will be reflected in how we use our lives and our resources.