What is the meaning of the original Greek of Luke 14:33 – “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” On the surface, it seems too extreme. If everything means everything, then we are left with nothing (For example, we would be naked). Is that the literal translation of the verse? How did the early church view this verse; any way of knowing? Any and all information would be much appreciated. Thank you. Mike Schimmel
Here’s our answer
Here’s a link to an online source for Bible commentaries, linked specifically to Luke 14:33. By reading the different commentaries and study guides listed on the right, you can get an idea of the intention of that verse in context with the entire chapter. And not just by pulling the one sentence out by itself.
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Reading the verse that way, we understand that Christ is telling us that we must be willing to sacrifice all that we have, if need be, to follow him. Not that we must give it up but that if asked we would give it up. E.g. to walk the extra mile, to give our coat to one in need, to stop playing video games or posting on myspace/facebook and help our family members or neighbors, to share our food with the hungry.
It begins by pointing out that before embarking on any undertaking we start by looking at the cost. Then Christ tells us what the cost is.
The cost of being a disciple of Christ is to be willing to submit our will to his and to share all that we have as needed.
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13 thoughts on “What Does Christ Mean When He Says We Have To Give All Up?”
Excellent post! I recently posted along similar lines on my blog here,
I spoke of possessions as things that keep us from truly following our Lord.
Thanks John. I like the symbolism of the lines connecting us to our physical possessions – and casting them off so we can follow God!
There is a deeper meaning than simply giving up our possessions, which is true also if necessary.
Jesus doesn’t even say the word “possessions” but instead says “all”, and the key to this verse is the two following verses, Luke 14:34 & 35 “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Forsaking “all” includes anything in our lives that draws us away from Christ. If necessary it includes friends or family, MT 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
It also means forsaking anything in our life or lifestyle. Do you watch movies with dirty language, and sexual scenes – even suggestive scenes. How about the music we listen to? Are we fans of these immoral stars, if so, we’re upholding and approving of them. What about our apparel, is it revealing or turn heads? These are just some examples, but one should understand Jesus is talking about more than just possessions.
We have to ask ourselves, am I the salt that has lost its flavor. We have to be ready to forsake anything or anyone that separates us from Christ.
Amen amen…that is exactly what Jesus Christ means..
It is difficult for Christians in the western world to accept Jesus’s demands to qualify to be his disciple(Luke 14:25-33) because they cannot imagine living such kind of life. Literally, one has to be a beggar. And Jesus meant just that and not the interpretations that fly all over the place by Bible ‘scholars’.
If one reads about spirituality before the birth of Jesus, the same demands were normal in India and other parts of Asia. There are people who denounce all earthly belongings and take life of begging. They are called Sanyasis.
Gautama The Buddha( born 500 years before Jesus was born), left his father’s palace ( he was a prince), left his young wife with a you daughter and became a beggar. Even today, just visit India and you will see Sanyasis walking along roadsides, river banks. They own only two shawls which they wash with soil in rivers to cover their nakedness. That’s all they own in life. And Jesus meant exactly what he said. No interpretation!
I am a black Ugandan an practice classic yoga. I have been in India twice and I am telling you what I saw.
Going by your response here, the Apostles and followers of Christ in the early Church would stand disqualified!
Christ did not live in a monastery and did not command his followers to do so. That you practice yoga and other mysticism already indicate where you belief systems truly lie.
As in the rest of the book of Action the Apostles, believers and disciples of Christ are meant to submit tot the Lordship of JESUS Christ and be willing to give up anything in their possession as may be required or demanded by the Lord. Barnabas and Dorcas are some examples.
If you have chosen to follow Buddha, do not come to instruct Christians how to follow Christ!
The ministry of the Apostle Paul is a clear example.
Jesus isn’t saying if He’s saying we must! Look around you everyone last one of you and what do you see? People in need correct? Hungry people! People with very few clothes! I will not be judged on why I didn’t help those around me! I look at this way after I give away everything I have then no fault can be found on why on I didn’t give up everything I have when I had it! We can say we believe all we want too but if we are going against what we believe then we are not really believing what we believe now are we? Basically if we aren’t dropping everything when we come across His words and commands then we aren’t really Christian now are we? I’m a Christian and drop everything but giving up everything I have right now not because I don’t want to but because He wants me to take care of my grandmother Which is pleasing to God and then this verse comes next!
“But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.”
1 Timothy 5:4
Thanks Mark Jennette, your post has enlighten me on forsaking all to follow Jesus Christ. I have been instructed in several occasions in my dream to forsake all to follow Christ. I have been so disobedience to God by always following my own heart desires. But I can’t continue leaving hypocritically, am tired and decided am gonna do it God’s way. Thanks
Glory be to God have learnt alot in just one verse. Thanks to everyone
Go beyond our possessions. Our way of life or lifestyle counts most in following Christ. Renewed life is indispensable! Our old ways must be gone (2 Cor. 5:17). Our attitude of pride, greed, and gluttony (overconsumption) needs to be given up. We cannot dare to separate Luke 14:33 from the rest of the passage. Read the preceding verses (start from verse 25) and the succeeding verses (read until verse 35). In all we think or do, we need to have wisdom in planning and doing things. Our life should become a blessing or encouragement to others, like asking ourselves, “Is my life like a salt or I lost the taste (stumbling block) just as nominal Christians do.
Who counts the cost at a store and expects to walks out without paying?