Saturday, July 9, 2016

Luke 14:25-26

Luke 14:25-27
And many crowds traveled with Him.  After turning, He said to them, “If someone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, even also his own life, he is not powerful enough to be my disciple.  Whoever does not carry his own cross and come behind me is not powerful enough to be my disciple. 

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Once more we see Jesus taking advantage of opportunity.  Many crowds are following Him.  A multitude is coming after him.  No doubt that some who followed Him believed already.  No doubt there were others who were investigating.  Others were surely looking to get their first real encounter with Jesus.  And of course, wherever Jesus went His opponents were never far off.  Yet, Jesus took advantage.  He saw the opportunity and took it.  He is willing to teach at any moment and circumstance.  Every moment is a moment that something can be taught.

How good are you at seeing opportunity to teach?  When is your favorite time to teach?  When is your least favorite time to teach?

Second Thought:

Notice that in most Bibles this section gets a subtitle – which isn’t a part of the ancient Greek text – along the lines of “The Cost of Discipleship.”  What Jesus says here is not easy to hear.  If we are not willing to hate even our own life, much less the loved ones near us, we aren’t powerful enough to be His disciple.  I think this translation is important.  Jesus isn’t talking about being worthy.  Truth is, none of us are worthy to begin with.  What Jesus is really getting at is power and strength.  Jesus uses the Greek word “dynomai” (δυνομαι), which is the root for our words like dynamite or dynamic.  What Jesus is saying is that if we are ever in a position to pick Jesus over something else, we need to have the inner strength to pick Him.  If we love ourselves – or others around us – more than we love Him, we won’t be powerful enough to pick Him in all circumstances.  That’s what Jesus is saying here.  There’s no problem with loving our family.  The problem comes when we’re not powerful enough to love Jesus more.

Who gets your true love in your life?  Why does it more sense to love others through our love of Jesus that it does to see Jesus and others as competing objects of our love?

Third Thought:

Jesus also says that whoever doesn’t pick up His cross and follow Him is not powerful enough to follow Him as His disciple.  What is our cross?  Some people say that our cross is the parts of our human nature that leads to sinful behavior.  However, when we talk about the cross, especially in relation to Jesus, what we are talking about is sacrifice.  Jesus was willing to lay Himself down for the sake of others.  What Jesus is saying here is that if we are not capable of putting the needs of others ahead of our own desires, we are not powerful enough to follow Him.  Again, seeing this in terms of power instead of worth is important here.  If we cannot put ourselves aside, how will we ever be powerful enough to truly follow Him, especially if He leads us into a place of sacrifice as the Father led Him?

Are you able to put yourself aside?  How does this show in your life?


Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 14:27-35
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