Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sell all I have and give to the poor?

I still don't get what Jesus wants me to do with this story of the rich young ruler asking "what must I do to inherit eternal life?".

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Luke 18:22 (NIV)
I don't view myself rich by North American stantandards, but I'm rich considering this:
At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day

So is Jesus asking me to sell all I have and give to the poor to be saved?

Would this be a responsible action to take? Removing all financial security from my wife and kids?

Then I find the story of Zacchaeus on the next page.
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:8-9 NIV)
Zacchaeus only gave half of his possessions to the poor, and Jesus declared him saved.

Whew, I only have to give half my possessions to the poor now? This should be much easier!

Just a minute... I've got to do some number crunching...

Uh....nope, that $30 to Compassion Canada isn't quite half.


OK, I still don't understand what Jesus is asking of me here. I pray for wisdom and then courage to follow.


Gary Delaney said...


I still struggle with the meaning of this one myself. But, I really believe that Jesus was discerning the heart of the rich young ruler, in that he was clinging to his belongings for security.

He told Jesus that he was following all of the 10 commandments. Jesus told him that he lacked one thing. I believe he was trusting in the things of the world over trusting in God. Because he would not part with his belongings and follow Jesus.


Jonathan said...

Thanks Gary. Yes, this may have been just Jesus request of this rich young ruler, and it may not be His request of me. Then to determine Christ's desire for me I really have to rely on the Holy Spirit - there likely won't be any verses in the Bible that say "Jonathan, I'd like you to give $____ or __% to the poor".

Gary Delaney said...