By Sue Towne
Sid often asks his audience how the Church can understand the richness of the Gospel if she doesn’t understand her Jewish roots? In Luke 14: 25-33 Yeshua tells the multitude that to come to Him as disciples they must “hate” their family members and even their own life (or soul) and carry their own cross.
Don’t these words sound bizarre to our 21st century ears? They didn’t sound so strange in the first century. You see, Yeshua was a Jewish rabbi. In that culture rabbis accepted disciples who lived and traveled with them in order to become like the rabbi they followed. A disciple did not simply listen to and practice the rabbi’s teachings; a disciple typically left home as a teen and lived with the rabbi for years, closely observing and imitating his habits and lifestyle. If the rabbi agreed to accept a disciple, he essentially affirmed, “You have what it takes to be my disciple.” The multitude in Luke contained some “disciple wannabe’s”, those trying to gain Yeshua’s benefit without the commitment. Yeshua gave a typical rabbi’s response — leave behind your current life and its associations, even put it “to death” in order to become My disciple. Yeshua summarizes (v. 34, 35) with a puzzling reference to salt that loses it saltiness, becoming good for nothing. I thin
These are words for us today. Are we willing to put relationship with Yeshua ahead of all other relationships? Are we willing to die to our own self-interest, let our own opinions and “rights” go in favor of Rabbi Yeshua’s? Are we willing to let our old life in this world die in order to let our rabbi express His life through us in the earth? Don’t be too quick to say, “Yes.” Count the cost.