It’s no easy task being a Christian. Jesus will accept no-one who puts anything before him. To be a disciple means putting everything else in its right place, that means that it is second to Jesus. The language here seems harsh. Jesus says that we must hate those we usually think to love. It does not mean that we should be spiteful, cruel, or callous. Hate, here, just shows the contrast with the devotion a person has for Jesus. Compared to our love for Jesus all other loves should seem like hate. If we lack the determination to love Jesus in this way, we lack the basic qualification of discipleship.
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “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. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
- How are the crowds following Jesus described?
- What does Jesus tell the crowds they must do to become disciples?
- In what different ways do you think the crowd responded to Jesus telling them they must count the cost?
- What will it cost you to be a disciple?
- Why is Jesus worth following in today’s world?