Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
Jesus declares the third prerequisite to be one of his disciples-the requirement of possessions. Note the progression of the three requirements Jesus is looking for. You must make Jesus your highest priority, then you must continue to make him your priority no matter what-perseverance, and then all you have must be given up to Jesus for his use. With these three requirements in place Jesus says you are now eligible to be his disciple.
This requirement may be the toughest of all and Jesus urges his listeners to count the cost of what it means to be a fully committed disciple. Jesus reveals his third requirement: “So it is with you; only the man who says goodbye to all his possessions can be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) Many of your translations say something like this: “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Naturally, the wording “give up everything” is the operative phrase here. What does it mean to give up everything? I like the first translation I read best: “Say goodbye to all of your possessions.” That says it well! The Greek word here means to “take leave” or “renounce” your possessions. This brings us to SECRET #29: The follower of Jesus renounces personal ownership of all his possessions, including his own existence.
I see this as renouncing the ownership of all you have. You really don’t own what you have. You are a manager or steward of what God has allowed you to collect. Jesus wants you to realize this and be willing to give up your personal ownership of all you have for Jesus and the Kingdom. Jesus wants you to hold on to your stuff, but hold it loosely and be ready to share generously as it is needed.
It’s even more than this. You are not just to give up everything you have, but all you are as well-your very existence. This is inherent in the word used for possessions. He owns it all-you and all of your stuff! It’s learning to wear the cloak of materialism loosely and to live your life as one who is owned and directed by Jesus. So, make Jesus your highest priority over all relationships, make him your priority no matter what and renounce the ownership of all you are and have.
The spirit of these discipleship requirements is all about surrender-abandoning all competing relationships and securities for Jesus and the Kingdom. There are many examples of surrender with both good and bad results.
Being a disciple of Jesus is one of the most amazing adventures ever. Make him your priority, to follow him no matter what and to renounce ownership of your life. What’s holding you back? SECRET #29: The follower of Jesus renounces personal ownership of all his possessions, including his own existence. The closer you follow alongside Jesus the easier it is to live as a disciple. He gets you and you get him. What a deal!