Thursday, September 2, 2010

Leave that too Luke 14:25-33

When Jesus tried to make his way into the towns it was often impossible to get to him. The crowds who wanted to be near him were so big. And as the crowds got bigger Jesus turned and said words that weren't meant to attract more people to jump on to the band wagon.

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. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Jesus' choice of the word hate strikes hard when you hear it. Hate father, mother, spouse, sister and brother. How can anyone, let alone Jesus say we are to detest and abhor them and even push away from them and from life itself. Oh such a strong word hate. And this strong word was used here on purpose. Eugene Peterson translated this word hate into a compound verb refuses to let go. He reads these words and explains them this way.

"Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one's own self!—can't be my disciple. Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can't be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27 The Message

Jesus is inviting us to give up everything that we seek so hard to protect and that we pour heart and soul energy into to follow him. And hard as you might fight to preserve your life and your family the day will come for all of us when we will turn away from everything that we have on this earth in order to enter into everlasting life with Jesus.

Joining the church means joining something new. Joining the church means leaving old things and even beloved old parts of our identity behind. The question for me today is does this happen all at once or does this happen over a lifetime.

Reading this week from Luke the word's that Jesus speaks seem so harsh at first glance. But I read this words this week knowing again that none of us will live forever. I read these word's knowing that as much as we love life and as hard as we work to preserve our families the day will come when we must let go of everything. Jesus isn't kidding anyone for even a second. Following Jesus means following Him into death and only through death into life everlasting. And that will mean giving up everything you know.

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