For quite some time now several people on this board who do not profess to be christians have been quoting the story where Jesus tells the rich young man to sell everything he has and give it to the poor. I want to get to the bottom of this and perhaps show these people that selling everything you own and giving away the money isn't a command from God for everyone that follows him. First I will post one of the versions (this one out of Mark) of the story.
The Rich Young Man
17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is goodŚexcept God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'[d]"
20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
28Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"
29"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fieldsŚand with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first."