Every time I read the end of Chapter 19 in the Gospel of Mathew I always get either confused or sad (like the rich man). It seems pretty straightforward that Jesus was saying that anyone who wishes to follow him must sell all their possessions and give it to the poor, yet no one interprets that passage to mean that.
The answer I always get in response is that what Jesus was really saying is that money should never come before God, but that possessing great wealth is not itself a bad thing. Although I agree with the response, it doesn’t seem to me that that was what Jesus was saying… no matter how often I read or think about it, it seems clear to me that he literally meant what he said; “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Perhaps the scariest part is when Jesus says the following; “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Help me out here guys and gals, I’m not rich by today’s standards, but compared to people back then (including the rich man Jesus was speaking to) I’m filthy rich. Should I be worried about my salvation?