During the time I am away, I will reposting older entries from the icrucified blog. The following post was an entry from July 2, 2008
Continuing my journey through the gospel of Luke this morning and I was captured by the way the New Living Translation phrases a passage. The verse in question is Luke 10:42. Most versions translate the sentence to read this way; “but one thing is needful…” or “one thing is necessary…” The NLT chooses to translate this verse as such:
“There is only one thing worth being concerned about.”
I must admit that the NLT choice of words for this passage sparked my thinking much more than did “one thing is needful.” I don’t think that either interpretation is any more or any less accurate than the other. I think both of them are faithful to the original text, although I haven’t attempted to verify that in the Greek. I simply feel that according to my use and familiarity with our language (in other words, what I’m comfortable with), the New Living Translation conveys a much greater sense of urgency in what is being spoken by Jesus.
Here are some of my thoughts spawned by, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about…”
- This translation seems to reflect Jesus’ teachings concerning discipleship that are recorded elsewhere in the gospel accounts.
- This translation causes me to think more intentionally about what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus; taking to heart his call to “count the cost.”
- I am urged to look up supporting teaching from Jesus and to ensure that what I find as support is contextually accurate.
What I found (I included the verse references in context, but excerpted the portion that caught my attention) -
Matthew 6:25-34 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life– whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”
Matthew 10:32-39 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
Luke 9:23-25 “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”
Luke 9:57-62 “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Luke 14:25-33 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison– your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters– yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.”
I happened to run across some thoughts that are similar to my takeaway from this passage of scripture while reading a devotional piece from Oswald Chambers, who writes as follows:
If the closest relationships of life clash with the claims of Jesus Christ, He says it must be instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person, Our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a difference between devotion to a Person and devotion to principles or to a cause. Our Lord never proclaimed a cause; He proclaimed personal devotion to Himself. To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave of the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not devoted to Jesus Christ. No man on earth has this passionate love to the Lord Jesus unless the Holy Ghost has imparted it to him. We may admire Him, we may respect Him and reverence Him, but we cannot love Him. The only Lover of the Lord Jesus is the Holy Ghost, and He sheds abroad the very love of God in our hearts. Whenever the Holy Ghost sees a chance of glorifying Jesus, He will take your heart, your nerves, your whole personality, and simply make you blaze and glow with devotion to Jesus Christ.
What then is my takeaway? Being a disciple, a true follower of Jesus, is serious business. I don’t think a casual approach is acceptable. I’m not judging or condemning anyone else; they will have to make their own decisions and come to their own conclusions about what Jesus meant when he spoke these words. I do think; however, that if these words were set aside for a moment and we looked at another set of words:
“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT)
I am prompted to ask another question; “God, how much is all ?”