Wednesday, 13 April 2016
The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation,
Brad H Young, Hendricksen, 1998
Chapter 11, "The Find" (pp. 199-221), page 220-221
Under the heading "The Value of the Kingdom or the Cost of Discipleship", Young brings us back almost to where we started. Are the parables about the cost of discipleship or the value of the kingdom? Young argues that it is a crucial issue to resolve in order to understand the teaching of Yeshua. Yet it is very complicated because 'kingdom' and 'discipleship' are so closely related. Young says:
Jesus teaches his disciples to seek first the kingdom amd all the other things associated with human need will be provided. The disciple must not worry about food, clothing or shelter. G-d's reign overtakes all concerns relating to money and success. The disciple must make a decision about the kingdom. He or she must be willing to give all and may well lose everything to enter thekingly power of G-d.
Young concludes that the cost of discipleship is the secondary theme in these parables; it supports the main theme of passion for G-d's reign.
Jesus is consumed with a passion to see G-d's rule realised. The kingdom is above all. Its intrinsic value cannot be measured in worldy possessions ... The idea of a costly pearl or a hidden treasure is like the kingdom. A person would give anything to obtain them ... While amost no-one will ever be able to obtain a treasure or the pearl of great price, all may enter into the kingdom of heaven and experience G-d's power. each one is invited to joyfully give up everything to enter the kingdom.
Young's final judgement is that the kingdom takes precedence over everything, even the supporting theme of the cost involved. Young feels that Yeshua is making a promise:
Joyfully accepting the kingdom will provide for every need.
For Yeshua, the kingdom is everything. Do you know that joy and have are you a part of that kingdom, participatingin G-d's promises and provision?