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.” Matthew 19:21 NABRE
Jesus is asked what must be done to reach eternal life. Jesus replies, follow the commandments. However, the person responds I do follow, what am I still lacking. It is interesting, that this questioner knows the law and has followed it yet still feels something is missing. Not only is the questioner aware something is missing but he is searching for it. The law is the beginning of walking toward God but to truly connect, to become in the presence of God more is needed. Jesus says if you want to be perfect sell all you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. This desire for perfection is in all of us, in biblical language to be perfect means we are in the presence or could be in the presence of God. Perfection is attained when we are one with God. We are blessed and God is with us, but because of our imperfection it requires faith on our part to realize we are with God. However, when we have become perfect as Jesus says earlier in Matthew, “… be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (5:48) then we are face to face with the One who is perfect.
This question leads us to understand life is more than following rules and thinking we are in good standing with God. Following commands is a step, helping us attain eternal life, but there is so much more. Is everyone required to sell everything and live on the streets? No! Jesus knows this man is rich and is unwilling to do what is being asked, so Jesus poses a difficult question. For most of us being detached from worldly possession and helping the poor may be all that is required to be perfect.
Can you sell everything? What is most important in your life?For most of us being detached from worldly possession and helping the poor may be all that is required to be perfect. Click To Tweet
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