Give Your Possessions to the Poor and Drink the Best Wine First

Those two sayings sum up the life of following Jesus.  Jesus told a young rich man who wanted to follow him, to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor.  Why did he say that?

First, because the poor needed it.  The rich man wanted to sign up to assist Jesus in his mission, part of which was to proclaim good news to the poor.  Think about that–if you are poor, what better news could there be?

“Some Wall Street wizard cashed in all his chips just before the crash–and he wants you to have the profits.”

Second, the young man’s possessions were dragging him down. What Jesus was really saying to him was

“Right here and now, I’m setting you free.  You don’t need all that.  Let it go.”

The second saying, “Drink the best wine first” wasn’t said by Jesus; it was said about him.  Jesus attended a wedding, maybe of one of his sisters, and when they ran out of beverage, he turned water in to wine.  If you’ve ever been to a wedding, no doubt you heard the preacher say, “Our Lord adorned this manner of life with his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. ”

The caterer said, “Woah!–everybody else serves the best wine first, but you saved the best wine for last.”

I’m not a connoisseur of wine–I didn’t grow up in California or France–I grew up in Carrie Nation territory; but I take turning water into wine as a metaphor.  Jesus wants us to enjoy life.  His presence is a celebration.  He didn’t tell people to give up their possessions because he wanted them to live an austere, ascetic existence.

He knew that possessions can possess us and keep us from enjoying life to its fullest.

4 Responses

  1. Are you suggesting that we take those verses literally? Should we actually sell all that we have and give to the poor? I’m struggling with this question and whether it relates to a select few or to all christ followers

  2. I think a lot of Jesus’ teaching is meant to shock us or to provoke us to think–in that sense it is not always to be taken literally–I still have my right eye and my right hand.

    If it were wrong to own possessions Jesus would have said burn them rather than sell them. But it is wrong for me to own two coats if someone I know has none. And I know from experience that possessions can drag us down.

    Maybe it is specific to some people. Jesus called some people to leave everything and follow him. He sent others back to their villages and families.

    I think it’s better to think of Jesus’ teaching as freeing us rather than putting a burden on us. So I have to ask myself, what am I doing to help the poor? and How is Jesus trying to set me free from the things that possess me?

  3. I’m kind of tired hearing the phrase “what Jesus ACTUALLY meant to say”, like Jesus couldn’t express himself properly and now some people feel they have to do it for him. But enough of that. I am a firm believer of using cripture in order to make a argument, and not my own ideoligies fromed by “popular” church doctrine, whether correct and incorrect.

    Now firstly, the scripture mentioned where Jesus adressed the rich young man, was not te only time Jesus spoke about selling all your possesions, in fact, there are many other more compelling scriptures that these.

    Luke 12:33, Jesus makes this statement to the people “sell all that you posses, and give alms to the poor”. Now making sure of the context, as if the statement isn’t obvious enough, Jesus was teaching from verse 22-32, saying that we should not worry about where food, water and clothing would come from, but rather that we should trust God like birds and flowers, metaphorically speaking of course. If that is not confirmation enough of the context, from verse 13-21 Jesus was teaching on the rich fool who was storing up treasure for himself.

    Here Jesus clearly made ANOTHER statement confirming what he REALLY said to the rich young man: “sell all that you have, and give alms to the poor.”

    Luke 14:33 Jesus once agian spoke to the multitude and made this statement: “So like wise, whosoever does not forsake all that he has, cannot be my disciple.”

    Now the KJV and most other versions translates this verse inaccurately. The Greek reads it like this: “So like wise, whosoever does not forsake all (possesions, property, wealth), cannot be my disciple.” (If you have e-sword or strongs you should really check it out!!)

    Once agian we should look at the context. From verse 25-32 Jesus was teaching on the cost of following him, and that if someone should choose to follow Him they should carefully count the cost, because it will cost you something.

    Should all Christians have to do this?

    While I do have enough scripture to confirm that this is a requirment for all Believers, I might not know about other that may prove otherwise, but I’m always up for correction. Here they are. (Luke 14:25, ACTS 2:44-45, Acts 4:34-37)

    To most people this is to great a cost. To actually sell everything we have sounds to radical for most onservative Christains and unbelievers alike, AND IT IS A BIG STEP!! I truly beleive, only when the Church will do this, amongst other “unknown truths”, will she truly know what it really means to walk by faith.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: