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Having Some Trouble With This Scripture

I had a very deep desire to go through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John recently to truly evaluate what Jesus is saying throughout His ministry. I came across a few passages specifically in Luke that kind of left me speechless as I disected a bit further in what Jesus was saying to His disciples and ultimately the masses that were following Him throughout Judea. 

The verse is in Luke 12:33 and is as follows:

"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."

I thought maybe Jesus was simply telling this to a select group of people in this account, but I got to Luke 14:33 and Jesus is saying the same thing to thousands of people.

"So therefore every one of you who does not give up all that he himself possesses, is not able to be My disciple."

What really drove it home for me is when I remembered the account in Antioch in Acts 11:26:

"So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."

Am I reading this right? From what I am gathering, disciples and Christians are the EXACT SAME THING and Jesus is saying that if I don't sell EVERYTHING I have and give it to the poor then I cannot be a Christian?


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  • Do you understand this part of the phrase?:

    "... provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not ..."

    Do you understand the "treasure" and the "bags" in Heaven?

    If not, I would like to share with you.

  • I think the issue is a heart one. Are we willing to truly give up everything to follow Jesus? What possessions are we holding onto that keep us from doing that? 

    If I sold my home I would no longer have a place to extend hospitality or protect my children from the harsh elements particularly the freezing winters. If I gave away my truck i wouldn't be able to provide transportation for my children or even meet for worship or ministry because if where I live. I need to be willing to drop everything to follow Him in what He specifically calls me to. Recognizing that I am no longer the owner of anything and the Lord can use all I have for His purposes.

  • Yes because they are taught the same principles led by apostles of Christ!

  • "From what I am gathering, disciples and Christians are the EXACT SAME THING"


    Ephesians 3:4-6 King James Version (KJV)
    4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
    5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
    6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:


     To understand the bible, the first thing you must get straight is to whom it is addressed. Some people think the whole bible is addressed to everybody. Not so. Parts of the bible are addressed to Jews, gentiles, the church of God, and other groups. Things addressed to one group usually don't apply to another group. It is a very common mistake, confusing Christ with Christianity. Jesus knew nothing of the church: it was a mystery, a secret, until Paul was called to reveal it. Jesus was a Jew speaking to Jews about Jewish concerns. You can learn many things by studying his words, but you need to remember he was not speaking to Christians. For example, the lord's prayer says:


    Luke 11:2-4 King James Version (KJV)
    2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
    3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
    4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.


    A Christian can not pray verse 4 because Christian forgiveness is not conditional upon forgiving others. That is strictly a Jewish prayer.

  • You are taking one verse out of context. Remember the bible was not written in English. It did not have verse numbers, chapter headings, center references, or even punctuation. This verse was part of a speech which began in verse 1 and continued to verse 40. 

    Verse 31 says "But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you." So you want to sell what God adds unto you ... and then God adds more unto you, ... and you sell that, ... This is not making sense. It's supposed to make sense.

    I  think you just need to read the chapter again, instead of only one verse.

  • This verse was from Spiritual Visionaries a common forum heard of it. Check it out and see!

  • Jesus is saying give what you have but the things you give must be things that enhance a person spiritually as well as financially. Gifts given to enhance spirituality never lose their value because they are a gift from God that heathens can not tamper with.

  • This is one of the areas where the church went wrong, as a result we are left at the mercy of the secular world.  In Acts we are told that the followers had "All things in common" [Acts 2:44] meaning that they shared all things, not just their faith, but they really did lell everything and gave it to the church.  The church provided for every follower, according to their need, the society was a true communal one, no one actually owning anything, but sharing in the resources of the church.  Those people who had a job or work to go to would give over their wages to the church, Paul himself worked as a tent maker and funded bot his church and his mission through his earnings.

    Today, it is almost impossible to live in such a way, some have tried, and most of them have failed. when even a funeral costs several thousand £/$, we all need to keep something back.  How many today would willingly hand over their earnings to their church and rely on that church to fill their needs and wants.  It is the 'wants' that cause the problems, what would the church decide if a parishioner applied for a home cinema system?  Ask people to 'tithe' their ten percent and some will comply, ask them to hand everything over everything into the hands of the Spirit, and it's a different matter.

    • Except how does one explain how the church in Jerusalem being in such need that Paul has to take a special offering as he traveled because they did sell things? 


    One has to look at the context in Luke 12. We read of the rich fool who was not generous, and just hording up things but not sharing. God gives to us so we can help others.

    Jesus is teaching a radically different way which His followers should seek to follow, 'Sell your possessions and give to the poor.' - Is Jesus telling us that we should own absolutely nothing? No, of course not, but He is showing us that if we are Christians we should be generous and committed to sharing what we have. We should give willingly and with a heart toward charity – just as Jesus generously laid down His life for us all!! It is an attitude and an approach. 

    Jesus does not expect us to do things that are illogical and give everything you have away. It would even hurt your health to do so.  

    God provides to us so we can give.

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