Matthew 19:21 - The Rich Young Man: Materialism & Priorities - part 3.

Mat.19:21; The Rich Young Man: Materialism & Priorities - part 3.

Mat 19:21 (NLT)  Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go 
and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will 
have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 

Perfect or Complete: i.e., genuinely pleasing to God. [Ryrie SB]

Possessions occupied the position of primary devotion in his 
life. Until he could persuade himself to be willing to seek God 
regardless of the cost (cf. 6:33), he could never discover eternal life. 
Therefore, Jesus suggested the selling of his possessions. [Believer's SB] 

The ruler's possessions were entrusted to him that he might 
prove himself a faithful steward; he was to dispense these goods for 
the blessing of those in need. So God now entrusts men with means, 
with talents and opportunities, that they may be His agents in 
helping the poor and the suffering.... Self-surrender is the substance of 
the teachings of Christ. Often it is presented and enjoined in 
language that seems authoritative, because there is no other way to save 
man than to cut away those things which, if entertained, will 
demoralize the whole being. DA518-523 

Material needs are a reality of life all people face. Jesus took 
our needs seriously and devoted much time to talking about them. 
Material things are not bad in themselves. They become bad when we place 
more importance on them than on our relationship with God.... Money 
must not dominate life. We give greatest thought and priority to what 
we really love. Jesus did not condemn money in itself. He condemned 
obtaining or using money instead of serving God. Anxiety over possessions 
is also condemned, because it allows one to be troubled over the 
unknown tomorrow. God's sustaining care allows Christ's followers to 
serve Him without anxiety. Incomplete loyalty to God, love of money, 
and anxiety over material things are attitudes which corrupt God's 
intended role for material possessions. These sins are caused by greed, 
which robs the steward of the joy and contentment of using material 
things to serve God. Seeking security in possessions causes much of our 
frustration. Only God provides true security. Secure in Him, we can meet 
family needs and serve others. [Disciple SB re 6:19-34] 

Whatever a man loves more than he loves Christ, makes him 
unworthy of Christ. Even the most important earthly responsibilities take 
second place to following Christ in the pathway of discipleship. Paul 
"suffered the loss of all things" in order to "win Christ". To secure 
possession of the heavenly treasure or to purchase the pearl of great 
price, a man must be ready to sell "all that he hath." But this, the 
rich young ruler could not bring himself to do. Here was his cross, 
but he refused to bear it... Jesus confronted the young man with the 
choice between earthly and heavenly treasure. But the young man wanted 
both, and upon making the discovery that he could not have both, "went 
away sorrowful". The painful discovery that he could not serve both 
God and mammon was too much for him. [SDA Commentary] 

Devotion to wealth bars us from supreme devotion to God. The 
rich man wanted to serve two gods--wealth and God. Jesus said he had 
to choose. God does not share His position with anyone or anything. 
Wealth may represent God's blessing. All too often it represents our 
top priority which leads us away from God. Money must be used for 
God's purposes and the care for the needy, not for achievement of 
selfish goals and satisfaction of human pride. Only God can give us the 
proper attitude toward money. [Disciple SB] 

Materialism is a form of addiction or compulsion that makes it 
nearly impossible to humble ourselves and trust Jesus Christ alone for 
salvation and recovery. [Life Recovery SB] 

If your priorities are focused on material things, they are off 
center. Life must center on Christ for it to be truly satisfying and for 
it to be rewarded by God. [Disciple SB]