Ever heard the phrase “sold out?” During the pandemic of 2023 I had a hard time finding some things in grocery stores. Actually, I had a hard time finding MANY things at the store. And it wasn’t just me . . . it was everyone! The supply chains were shut down and we quickly ran out of essentials like food, water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, medicine . . . you name it, we couldn’t find it! It was crazy! I took pictures of the nearly, or completely, bare store aisles and refrigerator and freezer cases. No meat. No eggs. No milk. No rice. No pasta. No flour. No sugar. No anything! What a terrible situation we found ourselves with so many things sold out.


Interestingly, the phrase “sold out” actually can be used in several different ways and each one has a very different meaning.

  • “The concert has sold out.” In this instance it means that there are no more tickets left to purchase. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you are. If you’re a fan trying to buy a ticket then you’re sorely disappointed. (I guess you won’t be going to the concert.) But, if you’re the concert promoter or the artist performing, this is great news! (Looks like you’ve made a lot of money!) 
  • “That politician has sold out,” or he’s “selling out.” In this instance it means that this person has compromised his previously stated convictions in favor of some personal benefit (money, status, position, etc.). It’s definitely not a good thing.
  • “She’s sold out for Jesus!” In this case being sold out means something quite different. It means that this person’s love and faithfulness to Jesus is so profound that there is nothing left to give. She has given her all . . . her devotion, her life, her thoughts, her actions, her words, her future, etc. . . . all to Jesus. This is a great thing!


The last two definitions are polar opposites. As committed followers of Jesus, one of these definitions is laudable, but the other is problematic.


Read the following Bible passages and let’s see what the Bible says about “selling out” or being “sold out.”

14Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.


Judas clearly had “sold out.” He betrayed Jesus for monetary gain. Whatever his convictions or beliefs had been about Jesus, he clearly tossed them aside when given the opportunity for personal advancement. 


He sold out Jesus and sold his soul. Judas was definitely a “sell out.”


What do you think brought him to the point of rejecting the truth of who Jesus is and betraying him for a handful of silver?

44The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.


Can you imagine finding something that is worth far more than everything you own? Can you imagine selling it all in order to acquire it?


Is your relationship with Jesus worth that much? What are you willing to get rid of in order to find and follow after Jesus? Are you willing to be “sold out” for Jesus?

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.”


This young man claimed that eternal life was something that he wanted. However, the cost was simply too high for him. Letting go of everything required faith in Jesus – faith to follow after Jesus’ call of a life of obedience. Ultimately, he walked away without Jesus, and without life. 


What he failed to understand was that a life with Jesus brings far more fulfillment and joy than a life full of riches without Jesus.

Are you a “sell out” or are you “sold out?” Do you claim to love Jesus and show a glimpse of religiosity, but in reality you’d walk away from your faith for the right girl . . . the right guy . . . a spot on varsity  . . . a spot in the popular crowd?


Don’t be Judas. Don’t walk away with a handful of coins. Run toward Jesus. Run after Him.


Think about what you’re holding onto too tightly. Spend some time in prayer right now asking Jesus for the strength to let go and be completely sold out for Him!