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Sulla's Epitaph

Interesting guy, Sulla. His Wikipedia page gives you a starting point, but you can't really grasp Sulla from an objective point of view. He did a lot of things in his life, and made a lot of enemies, and a lot of friends.

At any given point, he'll do something really awful and seemingly incredibly self-centered and unjustified, and he'll seem like a real terrible human being

And then he'll turn around and do something really magnificent, brave, generous, honest, and selfless.

Hard to make sense of him. To really get a grasp of him, you need to look at him from a mix of perspectives -- from the perspective of Mithradates, the King of Pontus who fought against him in bitter struggle, from the Marian faction, from contemporaries and recent historians, and from people looking back through various ages.

One of the more interesting statements by him is his last words -- he wrote his own epitaph when he knew he was dying --

day 23 | luke 13-14

On grow

When I hear Christians discuss "leading people to Christ" I get a little uncomfortable. I think it's because there's this automatic assumption that Jesus is going to make their lives happy-go-lucky. Jesus is going to bring them joy, hope, peace, purpose, etc. But if you've been reading through the gospel of Luke with me these past few days, it doesn't really seem like that's what he's promising us, does it? He says he comes to bring division, to turn us against each other. He says that to be a disciple means you have to take up a cross, you have to be willing to suffer rejection and ridicule. The only good thing about following Jesus is at the end of the tunnel, the kingdom of God.

Jesus knows that following him isn't a cake walk. He knows that following him means giving up everything. It means putting him first and everything else second. It means detaching yourself from material possessions and building up heavenly treasures. And for some reason, I feel like church sometimes paints a completely different picture. But Jesus has a couple parables for that, and the purpose of those parables is to get you to really consider, "Is this worth it to me in the end?"

The first is about a guy building a tower, but in the end he runs out of money and can't finish it. Everybody makes fun of him. The second is about a king waging war against another king. He takes a minute to calculate if he has the manpower to take out his enemy, and realizes he doesn't. So, he sends a peacemaker. Then Jesus is just straight up and says:

"You cannot be my disciple if you do not renounce all of your possessions."

All of them. Not some of them.

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