WHY DID THE RICH YOUTH HAVE TO SELL ALL AND GIVE TO THE POOR TO FOLLOW JESUS?

In Matthew 19:16-22, a young man asked Jesus what it took to follow Him, and Jesus said to follow the commandments. The young man said he has done so since his youth, so what does he still lack. Jesus told him if he wants to be perfect, then sell all he has and give the proceeds to the poor. After saying that, the young man became sad and left because he had many things.

This set of verses is brought up by many who exploit the class war, but they always conveniently leave out the commandment “You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions.” Many believers will even cite this verse to say that rich men can’t truly follow Jesus. This is folly. Job was the most righteous man on earth according to God Himself, yet he was rich.

There was another follower of Jesus who was also rich, named Joseph of Arimathaea. In Matthew 27:57, Joseph was described as both being a disciple and rich. This means Jesus did not make the same request of Joseph as He did with the young man. Why do I say this? Because Joseph was both a disciple AND rich. Joseph didn’t sell all of his things and give the money to the poor in order to follow Christ. Why would Jesus not make the same request of Joseph as He did with the young man? Because Jesus knew the hearts of them both. He knew Joseph would sell all his things if Jesus made that request, so it was unnecessary to make it. Jesus tested the young man to see if he was willing to make the same sacrifice He knew Joseph would have made.

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One comment on “WHY DID THE RICH YOUTH HAVE TO SELL ALL AND GIVE TO THE POOR TO FOLLOW JESUS?

  1. John Brown says:

    > Joseph of Arimathaea. In Matthew 27:57

    In the FWIW category, Joseph of Arimathaea was Jesus’s rich uncle that owned silver mines in the UK, and took him there as a child. They have stone carved pictures of them both, on churches in Scotland. Jesus taught the miners new mining technqiues while he was there.

    As for the rich man, there is a difference between ill gotten gains, say while working as a tax collector, and the righteous ones for which you worked with the blessing of God.

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