The Most Radical Christian Teaching
Forsaking all is a spiritual principle that is essential to the genuine Christian faith as well as many other faiths. (Read more about it here!) In this Bible study, we will look at the consistency of the forsake all teaching throughout the entire New Testament, beginning with Jesus’ instructions in the gospel accounts, shown in practice by his first disciples and the early Christians.
Jesus Teaches about Forsaking All
Jesus said to his disciples, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (NIV).
Jesus told the rich, young ruler, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (NIV).
Jesus told the multitudes, “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own” (NLT).
Jesus said to all who were listening, “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”
The First Disciples and Early Christians Forsake All
Peter said to Jesus, “we have left everything we had to follow you” (Berean Study Bible).
“And as soon as they [Simon Peter, James, and John] landed, they left everything and followed Jesus” (NLT).
Simon Peter and Andrew “left their nets at once and followed him” (NLT).
James and John “immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind” (NLT).
“Levi got up, left everything, and followed him” (NLT).
“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet” (NIV).
“All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had… There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need” (NLT).
“All the believers were together and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need” (NLT).
“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet… As a result, both Ananias and Sapphira are struck dead for holding back some of their wealth from the Church, lying to both humans and God” (NIV).
Christian Parables, Riddles, and More Teachings about Forsaking All
Jesus told a parable to his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field” (NLT).
Jesus told a parable to his disciples, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (NIV).
Jesus told the multitudes, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal” (NLT).
Jesus told the pharisees, “Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over” (NLT).
Jesus explained a parable to his disciples, “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (NLT).
Jesus commended a woman, saying, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has” (NLT).
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (NIV).
“The things that I once thought were valuable, I now consider them worthless because of Christ. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him” (NLT paraphrase).