Focal passages: Luke 14:25-35
In Luke 14:25-27 Jesus makes one of the most compelling, and often misunderstood, comparisons in the Bible.
Upon meeting people for the first time, He says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.”
Being a disciple of Jesus is an all-in commitment.
It is one that must take priority over all else and requires complete devotion from us so that we would not attempt to serve two masters or worship anything other than God.
When Jesus challenges the great multitude before Him to hate their families and their own lives, He is not denying anyone dignity or self-respect.
On the contrary, Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God above all else and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). Notice He included loving ourselves as a part of the equation.
This scripture addresses what it truly means to surrender to our Savior. In submission to Christ, all we once considered ours, including our own lives, are now His.
And because everything belongs to God, and to Him we give first priority, our love for all else should seem dull in comparison to our love for Jesus.
Knowing what it will take to follow Christ should compel us to count the cost of surrendering our lives to Him. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it …” (Luke 14:28-33).
The devotion we are called to when following Jesus is compared to the flavor and purpose of salt in Luke 14:34-35.
Is your love and devotion to Christ one that sets you apart from a world? Does the way you love God lead others to worship Him, too?