Immanuel exhorts us, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail…” Luke 12:33. And in the book of Acts they took this quite seriously, “And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need,” Acts 2:45. The rational consideration always revolves around how far we take this enthusiasm in our own lives. Just where does this become a doctrine that draws lines? Shall I sell everything?
More than likely you have in your set of belongings a toothbrush and some sort of underwear. I highly suggest you do not sell these things. Your friends and neighbors might resist your company and your enemies may find legal means of removing you from society. I am jesting (and my children would love that I mentioned underwear!) but I hope to make a valid point on the words “sell” and “all”.
What is the principle that underlies the selling of our possessions? Is it simply to keep us from losing our souls to material things? Or, perhaps there is a more enduring purpose than this. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Luke 12:34. Now we see that this enthusiastic action is about the placement of our affections. Selling our possessions is not much about extravagant garage sales… .no, it is more about investing all of our affections in one particular treasure.
Let me be more explanatory. If we flesh and blood individuals are to come up from under the load of another and support them until they recover, we must sell all. For we are “distributing” our whole person “as any (has) need”. This is about far more than possessions. It is about where are heart is invested. If I am to suffer long under the load of a friend, sister, brother, neighbor… .or enemy, I must cast off any unnecessary load of my own. If I am truly to minister, as a life-saving intercessor, to the one in need, I must come to where they are. I must lower myself to their placement and condition. I must come near. I must be with them.
Sell all. It is about gaining an equal footing with your friend - coming to where he or she is at. When I sell all that is excessive, all that hinders me from meeting you in your place, I am able to intercede for you. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted,” Hebrews 2:17-18. Immanuel is this for us because he has been with us. He came to our placement and into our condition. He sold all…