Today we will be reading from Luke 14:25-35:
25 Now large crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he cannot, then while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?35 It is useful neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. If you have ears to hear, then hear!”
Jesus tells us today to think through what we are doing in regard to faith. Don’t do it half-heartedly. Know what you are getting into. He tells His followers whoever does not “hate” the family cannot be His disciple.
Now that’s a hard word; outside of Jesus and some days coffee, there’s nothing I love more than my family. But let’s talk about what “hate” means in this context. This doesn’t mean hate in the terms that we think; this is a relative relationship term in this context. In other words, we aren’t to “hate” our family as we think of today; as Christians, we are to love Jesus more.
I love my wife. But I love Jesus more.
I love my parents. But I love Jesus more.
I love my kids. But I love Jesus more.
That’s what this is talking about. And this is what Jesus means when He says to count the cost. Don’t approach your faith, don’t approach His lordship in that manner. He must come first. Following Him must come first, above everything else in our lives.
Know that, realize that. We must love Him more than stuff, than power, than possession, than anything else in all of life. He must come first. He must come before all things.
Know what you are getting into. Understand that. Jesus comes first. Always. Jesus comes first.
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