Matthew 19:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Jesus answered, "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."

New Living Translation
Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

English Standard Version
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

New American Standard Bible
Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

King James Bible
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"If you want to be perfect," Jesus said to him, "go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me."

International Standard Version
Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me."

NET Bible
Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yeshua said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven, and come after me.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, sell what you own. Give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Jesus said unto him, If thou desire to be perfect, go and sell what thou hast and give it to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me.

King James 2000 Bible
Jesus said unto him, If you will be perfect, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

American King James Version
Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

American Standard Version
Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.

Darby Bible Translation
Jesus said to him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell what thou hast and give to [the] poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

English Revised Version
Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Webster's Bible Translation
Jesus said to him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Weymouth New Testament
"If you desire to be perfect," replied Jesus, "go and sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have wealth in Heaven; and come, follow me."

World English Bible
Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

Young's Literal Translation
Jesus said to him, 'If thou dost will to be perfect, go away, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

19:16-22 Christ knew that covetousness was the sin which most easily beset this young man; though he had got honestly what he possessed, yet he could not cheerfully part with it, and by this his want of sincerity was shown. Christ's promises make his precepts easy, and his yoke pleasant and very comfortable; yet this promise was as much a trial of the young man's faith, as the precept was of his charity and contempt of the world. It is required of us in following Christ, that we duly attend his ordinances, strictly follow his pattern, and cheerfully submit to his disposals; and this from love to him, and in dependence on him. To sell all, and give to the poor, will not serve, but we are to follow Christ. The gospel is the only remedy for lost sinners. Many abstain from gross vices who do not attend to their obligations to God. Thousands of instances of disobedience in thought, word, and deed, are marked against them in the book of God. Thus numbers forsake Christ, loving this present world: they feel convictions and desires, but they depart sorrowful, perhaps trembling. It behoves us to try ourselves in these matters, for the Lord will try us.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21. - If thou wilt (θέλεις) be perfect. I believe what you tell me. You have led a religious life in the ordinary way; now yon aspire to higher things; you have a noble ambition to serve God more completely; yon have the power, if you have the will, to do so; I will tell you how. To be "perfect" is to be lacking in nothing that is required for life eternal. It is spoken of Noah and Job; it is required of Christ's disciples (Matthew 5:48). Christ is here giving a counsel of perfection, as it is called, not of obligation on all men, but suited to the idiosyncrasy of this particular inquirer, and of others who are capable of such absolute self-surrender and trustfulness. Go and sell that thou hast. Go back to thy home, and sell all thy substance, all thy possessions. This was the counsel which Jesus gave, denoting the stumbling block which lay in the way of the ruler's endeavours after perfection. He was voluntarily to deprive himself of the earthly thing to which he fondly clung, his wealth, and to embrace a life of poverty and hardship. Give to the poor. The money obtained by the sale of his possessions he was to distribute, not to relations and friends, who might make some return, but to the poor, from whom he could expect no recompense. And thou shalt have treasure in heaven (Matthew 5:12; Matthew 6:20). Thou shalt obtain that which thou desirest, eternal life. Not that stripping one's self of goods and giving to the poor does necessarily ensure the great reward, but, in this youth's case, such a sacrifice, such a victory over the besetting sin, would be the turning point in his character, and enable him to conquer all lesser temptations, and win the prize of his high calling. Here was to be proved love of man. But there was one more element in the required perfection, viz. love of God. Come and follow me. St Mark adds, "take up the cross." If he would have apostolic perfection, he must embrace the apostolic life. He must give up wealth, position, earthly ties, earthly occupations, must cast in his lot with the despised Jesus, suffer with him, and, if necessary, die with him. The twelve apostles had accepted Christ's call on these terms; from him was demanded the same sacrifice the same test of sincerity. He had wished to be exceptionally good; exceptional conduct was required from him in order to reach this high standard. The condition imposed, severe as it undoubtedly was, exactly suited the case, showed the weak spot in the ruler's character, and, if accepted fully and heartily, would have led him to perfection. Reading these words of our Lord, St. Anthony was so stricken in heart and conscience that he obeyed them literally, stripped himself of everything that he had, distributed to the needy, and went forth poor and naked, trusting to God to provide for him. Many in all ages, inspired by ardent love of life eternal, have done the same. We shall do well to recognize that there are two ways of serving God acceptably - there is the good life required from all religious Christians, and there is the life of perfection to which some, by God's special grace, are called, and which they embrace and fulfil. It was the latter life that Christ put before this young man.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect,.... Wanting nothing, completely righteous, according to the tenor of the covenant of works, having no evil, concupiscence, or worldly lusts: our Lord signifies it was not enough to be possessed of negative holiness, and do no hurt to his neighbour, to his person, property, and estate, but he must love him, and do him good; and therefore, though so far as he had complied with the law, it was right and commendable; wherefore it is said by Mark, "that Jesus beholding him loved him"; had an affectionate regard to him as man, and approved of his intentions, seriousness, and actions, so far as agreeable; yet tells him,

one thing thou lackest: not but that he lacked many more, but he was only willing to observe one thing to him, as a trial of his love to his neighbour, which is the fulfilling of the law:

go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: not that either the law of God, or Gospel of Christ, require this to be done of all men, and at all times; for though it is a duty binding upon all, and always, to relieve the poor and the needy, yet a man is not obliged to give all that he has to them; see 2 Corinthians 8:11 nor does either legal or Christian perfection lie in doing this: a man may give all his goods to the poor and yet be destitute of the grace of God, 1 Corinthians 13:3 much less can such an action merit the heavenly treasure of eternal life. Nevertheless of some persons, and in some cases, it has been required, that they part with all their worldly substance, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel; as the apostles were called to leave all and follow Christ, as this man was also; for it is added,

and come and follow me: between these two, Mark puts, "take up the cross"; all which to do, was much more than to sell what he had, and give to the poor; and indeed, in this branch lies Gospel perfection, or to be really and truly a Christian: for to "come" to Christ, is to believe in him, lay hold on him, receive and embrace him as a Saviour and Redeemer; and to "follow" him, is to be obedient to his will, to be observant of his commands, to submit to his ordinances, and to imitate him in the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty; neither of which can be done, without "taking up the cross"; bearing reproach and persecution with patience; undergoing hardships and difficulties, of one sort or another, which attend faith in Christ, a profession of his name, and following him the Lamb, whithersoever he goes. The consequence of this now, not by way of merit, but by way of grace, is the enjoyment of the rich treasures of eternal glory: but this man was so far from complying with the latter, with coming to Christ, taking up the cross, and following him, that he could by no means agree to the former, parting with his worldly substance; and which is mentioned, as a test of his love to God and his neighbour, and to discover his sinful love of the world, and the things of it; and consequently, that he was far from being in a state of perfection. Moreover, it should be observed, that Christ is here speaking, not the pure language of the law, or according to the principles of the Gospel, when he seems to place perfection in alms deeds, and as if they were meritorious of eternal life; but according to the doctrine of the Pharisees, and which was of this man; and so upon the plan of his own notions, moves him to seek for perfection, and convicts him of the want of it, in a way he knew would be disagreeable to him; and yet he would not be able to disprove the method, on the foot of his own tenets: for this is their doctrine (e);

"It is a tradition, he that says this "sela", or shekel, is for alms, that my son may live, or I may be a son of the world to come, lo! , "this man is a perfect righteous man".''

The gloss adds,

"In this thing; and he does not say that he does not do it for the sake of it, but he fulfils the command of his Creator, who has commanded him to do alms; and he also intends profit to himself, that thereby he may be worthy of the world to come, or that his children may live.''

And so in answer to a question much like this, the young man put to Christ (f);

"How shall we come at the life of the world to come?''

It is replied,

"take thy riches, and give to the fatherless and the poor, and I will give thee a better portion in the law.''

(e) T. Bab. Pesach. fol. 8. 1, 2. & Roshhashanah, fol. 4. 1.((f) Zohar in Gen. fol. 60. 4.



Matthew 19:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Rich Young Man
20The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?" 21Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.…
Cross References
Matthew 6:19
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

Matthew 6:20
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Matthew 19:20
"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"

Matthew 19:22
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Luke 12:33
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.

Luke 16:9
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

Luke 18:22
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "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."

Acts 2:45
They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

Acts 4:34
that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
Treasury of Scripture

Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

If.

Matthew 5:19,20,48 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and …

Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect …

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to …

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man …

Psalm 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect …

Philippians 3:12-15 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: …

go.

Matthew 6:19,20 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust …

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing you …

Luke 12:33 Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which …

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, …

Luke 16:9 And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; …

Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said to him, Yet lack you one …

Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, …

Acts 4:32-35 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul…

1 Timothy 6:17-19 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, …

Hebrews 10:34 For you had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling …

come.

Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me…

Matthew 4:19 And he said to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Matthew 9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from there, he saw a man, named Matthew, …

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus to his disciples, If any man will come after me, …

Mark 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the …

Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people to him with his disciples also, …

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing you …

Luke 5:27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, …

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny …

Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said to him, Yet lack you one …

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall …

Jump to Previous
Complete Desire Follow Heaven Jesus Money Perfect Poor Possess Possessions Property Sell Treasure Want Wealth Wilt Wish Wouldest
Jump to Next
Complete Desire Follow Heaven Jesus Money Perfect Poor Possess Possessions Property Sell Treasure Want Wealth Wilt Wish Wouldest
Links
Matthew 19:21 NIV
Matthew 19:21 NLT
Matthew 19:21 ESV
Matthew 19:21 NASB
Matthew 19:21 KJV

Matthew 19:21 Bible Apps
Matthew 19:21 Bible Suite
Matthew 19:21 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 19:21 Chinese Bible
Matthew 19:21 French Bible
Matthew 19:21 German Bible

Alphabetical: and answered be come complete follow give go have heaven him If in Jesus me perfect poor possessions said sell the Then to treasure want will wish you your

NT Gospels: Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him If you want (Matt. Mat Mt) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Matthew 19:20
Top of Page
Top of Page