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Discipleship: Renouncing Possessions


Jesus advised his disciples to renounce worldly possessions and depend on the divine providence the hospitality of the people they served while they do his ministry (Mt 10:9-10).

Jesus wanted his disciples to avoid worldly comforts. He warned them, “Every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:33). They should rely on the people whom they served as representatives of God. In Luke 12:22-34, Jesus gives detailed instruction on this. Using the examples of ravens (v. 24) and flowers (v. 27-28), he said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear” (v. 22). “As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom” (Lk 12:29-32).

At the Last Supper, Jesus asked the apostles, “‘When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?’ ‘No, nothing,’ they replied” (Lk 22:35). Thus, God’s providential care was with them during their ministry. However, at the Last Supper, Jesus changed his policy because of the long-distance journeys and opposition from non-believers. “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one” (Lk 22:36).

Jesus promised higher position in heaven for those who renounce worldly possessions for the Kingdom of God. Peter, on behalf of the apostles told Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus answered, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come” (Mk 10:28-30).

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