Sunday

09 September 2007

"Now large crowds were travelling with him; and he turned and said to them, '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. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple'". (v.25-27)

Background

Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem and to his death by crucifixion on the cross, but the crowds who were with him thought he was on his way to establish an earthly kingdom. With the most vivid language Jesus declares that those who follow him must recognise that the way ahead will be costly, obedience to God has a price and ideas of earthly glory and power must be set aside in favour of possible suffering and even death.

Nothing must get in the way of love for God.

When Jesus tells us to hate our closest and dearest relations or friends we are not to take this literally. Jesus means that love for others must pale into insignificance compared with the love that we are to have toward God. If we put love of others above love of God it is unlikely that we will truly fulfil what it is that God requires of us particularly when the going gets tough.

Therefore it is important that we consider the cost of following Jesus before we commence the journey with him. Just as a builder must weigh up whether he has enough money to complete the building, or the general enough soldiers to win the battle, we must realise the cost of following Jesus.

To Ponder

Who or what honestly comes first in your life at the moment?

Have you ever felt that obedience to God has involved sacrificing something you hold dear? If not, why do you think you have never experienced such a conflict?

Bible notes author: Revd Eden Fletcher

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