A Costly Business
By mkos83

Luke 14:25–35 ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple.’ (v26)

Anyone in sales knows that there is a tricky balance to be made between offering the product at an enticing price, and showing the customer that the product has high value.

With some products, selling it at too low a price will mean it is not valued. Similarly, when asking for people to join something, do you emphasise the challenge and cost or the benefits?

On this occasion, Jesus is emphasising the cost of being a follower of Him, and uses pretty stark language. The Greek word for ‘hate’ is the same one used of the world ‘hating’ Him.

It seems massively at odds with the commands to love one another, and even to ‘love your enemies’. So, what is Jesus conveying?

He is emphasising where His followers’ ‘first love’ needs to be, and in that sense is not dissimilar to the first commandment, that we should have no ‘gods’ before God.

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In the same way, our affection for Jesus should be such that it is as if we ‘hate’ our nearest and dearest and even our own lives.

We note that large crowds are following Jesus as He says this, and He is almost keen to disabuse them of anything.

In Luke 9:51, we have a turning point of Jesus marching towards Jerusalem where He would of course die, and He’s keen to underline that following Him and His way is not going

to be easy, at one level. But, of course, the words would bring people up short. What would be so valuable as to be worth valuing above one’s own family and indeed one’s own life? This had better be pretty good!

Maybe these words bring us up short too? Is your appreciation of your faith such that it comes above your family and even your own life?


A Prayer To Make:
Lord Jesus, help me to value You above all things and everyone. Amen.

An Action To Take:
Consider whether putting Jesus above your family will be better or worse for them.

Scripture To Consider:
Exod. 20:1–17; Josh. 24:19–28; Phil. 3:7–14; 2 Tim. 4:1–8

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.