September 7

Luke 14:25-30

“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.” vs. 26

Sometimes Jesus’ words are harsh and difficult to understand. We wonder if he could possibly mean what he seems to be saying and search for ways to make his hard statements palatable. Or maybe there’s another way to translate Luke’s Greek–perhaps an alternative meaning for the word “hate”, one that will soften its impact. But hate isn’t necessarily the opposite of love–and hating father and mother doesn’t mean that you can’t also love them. And the same is true for wife, children, brothers and sisters–Jesus isn’t saying that our hearts shouldn’t overflow with love for them. What he is saying is that discipleship means making some costly decisions, ones that will have a deep impact on every part of our lives. And any choice that would jeopardize our spiritual connection to him could be devastating! Another way of understanding this is to recognize that there is nothing more important than loving God with all our heart, mind, and strength–all else has to be in second place. Of course that doesn’t mean we have to spend our days dissing everyone who is close to us and trying to inflict pain in their lives–that’s not what Jesus is talking about. It’s all about priorities in living–and making sure that God is always number one!

Thought for the Day: How could children ever get in the way of Jesus?

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