The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 111

The Perean Ministry ~ Part 5

In our last post, we followed Yeshua as He left Yerushalayim to go to Perea. In this post, we continue to examine His Perean Ministry as He Continues to Teach in Parables.

The Cost of Discipleship

25 Large crowds were traveling along with Yeshua. Turning, He said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers, and his sisters, yes, and his own life besides, he cannot be my talmid.

If anyone … does not hate his father [and] … mother … he cannot be my talmid. One hears v. 26 selectively misquoted precisely this way, and on this basis, a case is made that Yeshua is a cruel madman. But the key to His warning is, of course, the phrase and his own life besides. The theme of these verses is not alienation from one’s family. Still, the cost of discipleship: nothing, not love for father or mother or even one’s own life, is to take precedence over loyalty to God and His Messiah (see Mattityahu 16:24). He must renounce all that he has (v. 33), acknowledging that if God is to be primary in his life, possessions, and even social relationships, in and of themselves, must be secondary. Being Messianic is more than merely acknowledging facts about Yeshua.

27 Whoever does not carry his own execution stake and come after me cannot be my talmid. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Don’t you sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough capital to complete it? 29 If you don’t, then when you have laid the foundation but can’t finish, all the onlookers start making fun of you 30 and say, ‘This is the man who began to build but couldn’t finish!’

31 “Or again, suppose one king is going out to wage war with another king. Doesn’t he first sit down and consider whether he, with his ten thousand troops, has enough strength to meet the other one, who is coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he hasn’t, then while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation to inquire about terms for peace.

The Parable of the Salt

33 “So every one of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has cannot be my talmid. 34 Salt is excellent. But if even the salt becomes tasteless, what can be used to season it? 35 It is fit for neither soil nor manure—people throw it out. Those who have ears that can hear, let them hear!” [1]

Most salts came from the Dead Sea and contained impurities (carnallite and gypsum). If not processed properly, it would have poor taste and be worse than useless, being unusable for food and creating a disposal problem. If the conditions for a talmidim (vv. 26–27, 33) are not kept, the talmid likewise will become less than worthless. If their willingness turns into unwillingness, a talmid returns to worldly ways after experiencing the truth and joy of following God’s way; what else is left to restore them? Nothing.

In our next post, Yeshua Continues to Speak in Parables in Perea.

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[1]  Luke 14:25–35.​