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What Does Christ Mean When He Says We Have To Give All Up?

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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What Does Christ Mean When He Says We Have To Give All Up?
What Does Christ Mean When He Says We Have To Give All Up?

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.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and help Mike!

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3 thoughts on “What Does Christ Mean When He Says We Have To Give All Up?

  1. Excellent post! I recently posted along similar lines on my blog here,

    http://mylordisjesus.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/cast-off-the-mooring-lines/

    I spoke of possessions as things that keep us from truly following our Lord.

    1. Thanks John. I like the symbolism of the lines connecting us to our physical possessions – and casting them off so we can follow God!
      Margaret

  2. 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.

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