Why Jesus Tells Us to Sell All Our Stuff


A recent bug invasion {and full-on nightmare} demanded that I go through all my belongings.

I learned two things. Stuff is annoying and inconvenient. And if Jesus ever said to me, “You need to sell all your stuff,” I might have a panic attack.

But I doubt he would say that, because really, there are so many more important things to talk about. Like . . . the gospel? I mean, if you were to ask Jesus what it takes for a person to get to heaven, he’d probably say something about repentance, faith, forgiveness, salvation, or the cross. He would never say, “Sell all that you have and give to the poor.”

. . . but that’s exactly what he says to a wealthy guy who, having kept all the commandments perfectly from childhood, can’t think of anything else to do to inherit eternal life.

And while you’re standing there, coming up with proof for how this man hasn’t actually kept all the commandments, Jesus plays along and thinks of the one thing the young man is missing. “Let’s see . . . oh, I remember! You just need to sell everything you have and give the money to the poor. Yep – have a big yard sale, and you’ll be on your way to heaven.”

Wait. What?

You’re just as perplexed as the young ruler himself. Your Romans fact-checker makes you wonder if Jesus has somehow forgotten about the whole “not of works” thing . . . until you realize he’s on to something.

Because, if I’m sorting through my possessions, and Jesus says, “In order to follow me, you need to sell all of that,” my hesitancy/excuses/major heart palpitations prove that I am no follower of Christ.

If I can’t give up my stuff in order to follow Jesus, how will I ever give up my sin?

Yes, following Jesus means letting go. Surrendering all that is earthly. Abandoning everything but Jesus – because Jesus is all you need.

If this self-righteous sir wouldn’t let go of earthly possessions in order to follow Christ, he might as well forget it altogether. The wealth of heaven comes only to those who are willing to give up the wealth of earth.

You may never have to sell all your stuff, but if Jesus asked you to, would you? Or like the rich young ruler, would you walk away from the offer, saddened that you couldn’t possibly accept the gift of eternal life because you don’t want to sell your stuff.

How pathetic that this is the heart-refusal of the age. “No, thank you, Jesus. I want _________ more.”

Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

from Mark 10:17-31

 [image credit: unsplash.com]

6 thoughts on “Why Jesus Tells Us to Sell All Our Stuff

  1. I’ll admit when I was younger- that whole story troubled me a lot! We like our stuff- no two ways about it! It’s familiar, it’s comfy, it’s ours! But you got down to the heart of the matter that even gets cluttered today in all the stuff I still possess….”If I can’t give up my stuff in order to follow Jesus, how will I ever give up my sin?” And if we could count it all but loss save knowing Christ how much richer we’d all be…♥

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love purging and can’t stand having too much stuff . . . however, I love getting new stuff. Being content with what I have is always a struggle. Going through my husband’s job loss years ago and having to go on food stamps and other government help for a little bit was extremely humbling for me. Helped my perspective to change. There are definitely sentimental things I’d be heartbroken over if I had to give them up. Being human is hard sometimes! So thankful for Jesus’ forgiveness of my sin.

    Liked by 2 people

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