Matthew 19:16-22 gives us this wonderful account of a teachable moment with Jesus. A rich man approaches Jesus and ask “what good thing must He do to obtain eternal life?”

After some discussion Jesus gives the Rich Man a list of things he should not do such as:

“Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, and do not lie.” 

Jesus also gives the Rich man several things he should do such as:

“Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.”

After Jesus told him these things the rich man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?”

Then Jesus told him: “Then if you want to be perfect, go sell all of your possessions; give everything to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.”

The rich man’s reaction to what Jesus said was captured perfectly in The Message Bible translation of Matthew 19:22:

“That was the last thing the rich man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.

Jesus teaching in this passage is clear.  We often value and hold on to the wrong “treasures.”   God is calling us to let go, not just the material “treasures” like clothes, electronics and jewels.  But also to “treasures” like titles, positions and relationships.

Jesus wants us to let go of these “treasures” so that we can receive the true treasures that being a follower of Jesus can bring.

For as Jesus tells us in Matthew 20:29, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive one hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

©2015 Marben Bland

Marben Bland, is a faith leader, writer and speaker.  Send an email to comment on this post to  Find more posts at

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