Yeshua says: Become passers-by.

(Matthew 8:20; Matthew 10:9,10; I Corinthians 7:29-31)

Yeshua crystallizes here the teaching that lies at the heart of so many spiritual traditions. He points me towards detachment and non-identification.

Detachment and non-identification do not mean I don’t care or I am not engaged in life.

I become a “passer-by”, not when I disengage, but when I stop clinging and stop hanging on. I am a “passer-by”, when I give up fighting for my little piece of the pie and stop believing that my little piece of the pie says anything significant about who I am. I am a passer-by when I no longer locate my sense of identity in anything in the external world. I am not defined by what I do, what I achieve, how I look, or how I perform in the eyes of anyone.

As a passer-by I am no longer pushed here and there buffeted by the wind of every changeable influence that may come into my life. I am able to “stand as a single one” (Saying 23). The dimensions of my being have come together as a united whole. I am no longer fragmented pulled in a thousand different directions because I have been seeking to establish my sense of self-worth and security in a world that is incapable of providing any genuine worth or security.

When I “become a passer-by” I understand the prophet’s insight that

The grass withers, the flower fades. (Isaiah 40:8)

I know that Jesus’ radical all-encompassing version of this saying is true:

Heaven and earth will pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

But the threat has gone out of impermanence. There is nothing left to which I need to cling because, beneath than all these things that I perceive with my physical senses, I know there is always a deeper reality.

Isaiah bore testimony to this deeper abiding unchangeable reality which he called “the word of our God,” saying,

the word of our God will stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)

Jesus offered the same assurance, promising that

my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

The impermanence of life on this fragile material time-bound plane is not disheartening; it points to a deeper reality that I can touch in my heart when I cease trying to hold on to that which is passing away. Yeshua calls me to find my deep true self within.


Today I will face the impermanence of all those things to which I so often cling in the hope of finding self-worth and security and watch instead for a deeper sense true security and strength that emerges from within.