June 4, 2019
Good Morning Fellow Travelers,
Read: Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 14:26-35
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
The truth of this passage is loud and clear: the Lord will not take second place.
Many bite their tongues on this teaching of Jesus. What could He mean that is consistent with His other teachings? In Matthew 10:37-38 we find a complementary passage that helps explain the verse in Luke: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
The essence of Christian discipleship is all about giving Christ the highest devotion of our life. He will not be loved less than our other loves. He wants our whole man: body, soul, and spirit. When we are ready to offer Him all of ourselves and all that we have and give Him first place, then all other relationships come behind and work out in the proper order.
He will not let us compromise Him. He knows where your heart is and what you love the most. To help us grasp the seriousness of our loyalty to His high demands of purity, He points out that it is better to pluck out the offending eye that causes us to sin, or to cut off the offending hand.
Our love of money and wealth must go. He told the young ruler in Mark 10 to sell what he had and give the proceeds to the poor because Christ knew he loved his riches. “Come follow me then,” He says. “The children or spouse or parents or siblings you have made idols of, must be hated (loved less) than Me.” Christ is very clear in Luke 14:26. He does not want us hindered in our love and obedience by the baggage of selfish family love, or selfish self-love.
There is a cross planted in the middle of the path to the Celestial City. As you stagger up to it, you will need to decide right there to drop all that you have, and gaze into the face of the One who gave everything up for you. The way will then be sweet.