Sunday

Luke 14:25-33 Sunday 4 September 2016

Psalm: Psalm 139


Background

Jesus frequently speaks in an 'extreme' way - he goes too far,or he goes too far, and then a bit further. This is a difficultsaying - it is intended to be and nothing we can do can change it,neither Jesus nor his words can be tamed. This gives us a choice,as Jesus did; what sense to make of him and what to do. He stressesthe importance of choice, choice is the most important thing, don'tjust say yes without knowing what you are signing up for.

Of course there is huge exaggeration here, but it is necessaryto make the point, for the follower of Jesus it must be as if he orshe hates their most intimate family connections. It may be thatthis attitude of 'hating' frees us up to really love our neighbouras Jesus also told us. If we have this in mind then it cannotreally be hate as that would drive us to hate everyone. Sometimeswe struggle so much with what Jesus says because we have his plainsayings and then crash into the difficult ones, when it should bethe other way around. He really did speak and teach like a Zenmaster with mind-bending koans (the most famous of which is, 'thesound of one hand clapping').

So to come back to the passage, Jesus is talking about himself,just think how he 'rejected' his family when they came to take himaway (Luke 8:19-21). Who was it that put his own lifebehind his mission? He has already announced his own death (Luke9:22), followed then by the same warning about taking up thecross (Luke 9:23-25). We won't return to the Gospelsthis week so we will have to carry Jesus' words with us.


To Ponder

  • What preparation did you make before following Jesus, or howcould you prepare now, whatever spiritual path you are on?
  • What do you think of the idea of Jesus being like a Zenmaster?
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