What does that story mean?
” Did you catch what Jesus said when he told the rich man to abandon his possessions and give to the poor? Listen again, particularly to the second half of Jesus’ invitation: ”Go, sell everything you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” If we are not careful, we can misconstrue these radical statements from Jesus in the Gospels and begin to think he does not want the best for us. But he does. Jesus was not trying to strip this man of all his pleasure. Instead, he was offering him the satisfaction of eternal treasure. Jesus was saying, “It will be better, not only for the poor, but for you too, when you abandon the stuff you are holding onto.”
We see the same thing over in Matthew 13. There Jesus tells his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.”
I love this picture. Imagine walking in a field and stumbling upon a treasure that is more valuable than anything else you could work for or find in this life. It is more valuable than all you have now or will ever have in the future.
You look around and notice that no one else realizes the treasure is here, so you cover it up quickly and walk away, pretending you haven’t seen anything. You go into town and begin to sell off all your possessions to have enough money to buy that field. The world thinks you’re crazy. ”What are you thinking?” your friends and family ask you.
You tell them, “I am buying that field over there.”
They look at you in disbelief.
“That’s a ridiculous investment,” they say. ”Why are you giving away everything you have?”
You respond, “I have a hunch,” and you smile to yourself as you walk away.
You smile because you know. You know that in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead, you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. So with joy – with JOY! – you sell it all, you abandon it all. Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for.
This is the picture of Jesus in the Gospels. He is something – someone – worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the Gospels, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of nondiscipleship is infinitely greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him” - from “RADICAL” by David Platt