Relationships

By: Woody Godbey

"If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison--your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple."—Luke 14:26

 

I chose a paraphrase so no one would get confused. Jesus is not telling us to hate anyone but that He must be first and above all others in comparison. I remember when I became a Christian that a few of my friends were no longer my friends. They quickly turned on me, mocked me behind my back, and made a joke out of what I had just done.

 Sometimes relationships hold people back from following Christ. I have witnessed it more than once and this is especially true among young people. They think, If I become a Christian, what will my boyfriend say? Or, what will my girlfriend say? If you have a boyfriend who would not want you to become a Christian, then you need a new boyfriend. And guys, the same is true of a girlfriend. If you have friends who would oppose your being a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you need some new friends. What Jesus was saying in our text is that we need to make a stand.

In Luke 9 we find the story of a man whom Jesus called to follow Him. But the man said to Jesus, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father" (verse 59).

 Jesus responded by saying, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God" (verse 60). We may read that and think, Wow. Jesus was a little heartless, wasn't He? But the man was using an expression of the time that meant "wait until my father and mother die." It didn't mean that his father was dead. The man was effectively saying, "Give me a little time. Later, when my parents pass away, then I will follow You."

 But Jesus was saying, "No, do it right now. I called you. If you want to do it, then do it. Or don't do it. It is your choice. But do it now."

 The disciple must love Jesus more than anyone or anything else. Or to put it another way, your love for God should be so strong, so intense, that all other loves would be like hatred in comparison. God Bless!