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He said this in the context of something that was difficult for His disciples to even imagine.  A young man had come to Him and asked how to get eternal life.  This was no ordinary young man, however.  He was a young man of privilege and responsibility.  He had gone to good schools, come from a good home, and done many good things.  He was rich and devout, the model of Jewish propriety.

Jesus did not answer his question with any doctrinal formulation nor with any calming reassurance that he was on the right track.  Instead He got to the heart of the matter.  “Go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor,” He said.  “Then come, follow Me.”

The young man could not or would not do this.  The Bible says, “He went away grieving, because he had many possessions.”


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