Giving and the Government

When the rich ruler came to Jesus and asked What must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus instructed him to follow the ten commandments.  He replied that he had kept the commandments since he was a boy. Jesus then instructed him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. The guy walked away sad because he was incredibly rich and he didn’t want to give it up. Of course, we know that the only way to heaven is believing in Christ and repenting of our sins. Jesus was simply making a point that some people put more reliance on their riches than they do on the Lord.

Note this:

  • Jesus didn’t tell him to sell his stuff and give his proceeds to the government to distribute. He was allowed to decide himself who should receive what.
    • Lesson: We can and should determine who we want to bless from our abundance. The government need not interfere.
  • After the man walked away, Jesus didn’t run after him to renegotiate. The Lord just let him walk.
    • Lesson: We can follow the Lord’s example and let some people walk away.  When our passion for another person’s change is greater than their own, we risk becoming enablers.

Using the brains God gave us to make decisions can be a powerful act of worship.

What do you think?


  1. I find that an interesting take away message but I’m a bit confused about how you connected the government to this story. I could be wrong about this, but I always thought that Jesus stayed away from politics. Maybe I missed something in this story…

    1. Good question, Sarah. Jesus got involved in politics when He instructed people to pay taxes and to respect those in leadership. My take on this passage was to address the misconcept people have that Jesus was a socialist. He wasn’t. A socialist government would take the person’s money and distribute without any input from the person. In this situation, Jesus was allowing the rich ruler to decide for himself who should receive from his contributions. Sadly, nobody benefited in this situation.

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