The Cost of Discipleship

Luke 14:25–35

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         At this point, Jesus with His disciples, are heading toward Jerusalem, and “great” crowds of people are accompanying them. Verses 26 to 35 are addressed to the “crowds.”

2.         The word “hate” as in “does not hate” his own family members is shocking, and if one where to take it literally, is Jesus saying that in order to be one of His disciples, a person must “hate” his or her family?

3.         We know that Jesus often says that we are to love others, especially family members, including enemies. Thus most commentators do not take the word “hate” literally, nor do I. It is a way of speaking to dramatize what is at stake to be a follower of Jesus.

4.         There is a cost that a Christian will pay, and Jesus was about to pay the highest price; indeed, the cross is looming ahead, and all but one of His appointed apostles would be killed at the hands of those who hate Jesus.

5.         This is “full disclosure” on Jesus’ part. He told them the truth about what it would mean to claim Him as the Messiah of Israel.

6.         Christian history collaborates what Jesus said. And even now, in our own day, we find it to be so, not necessarily in our America, but in lands where Christianity is not valued it is apparent.

7.         Yet as some say, “the times they are a changing.”

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