Scripture – Luke 14:26 (amplified)
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple.
We usually skim past this verse because it is often translated “if anyone comes to me and does not HATE his own father and mother, spouse and kids, siblings and even their own life, he cannot be my disciple”. We are very sensitive to the word HATE.
This is such an important verse because Jesus is talking about the cost of being a disciple so we need to understand it. The concept of honoring (esteeming, valuing as precious, revering with tenderness of feeling and deference) our parents is throughout the Bible and it is the first commandment with a promise (long life). Jesus is not negating anything he has already said, but rather he is making clear the cost of being his follower – the adherence to the first commandment (you shall have no other gods before me).
Throughout history God had to keep reminding his people Israel to make him first and put away the things they valued, esteemed, and revered more than they did him.
Jesus is clear that you cannot be a disciple of his unless he is unequivocally NUMBER ONE: ahead of mother, father, spouse, child, sibling and even one’s own life.
That is the cost of being his disciple.
Today is October 1 2012. Twelve days ago, on September 19 2012, my third daughter, Eva Lucia was born prematurely at 22 weeks. My wife and I had an incredible 45 minutes with her alive in our arms before she passed into the hands of Jesus. It was beautiful yet tragic. Perfect yet devastating. I miss her so much yet I am so blessed and thankful to know she is in heaven with my king, where there is no pain, no fear, just love and joy.
Sometimes following Jesus seems to cost more than we can wrap our minds around. This is why he is very clear that to be his disciple could cost anything up to and including everything. If we count the cost at the beginning and make the decision to follow Jesus no matter the cost, we will never be crippled by fear or grief.
Jesus is worth my every breath, my every heart beat, my every thought, word and action. In my human condition I rarely give him a fraction of these things but I desire him to be glorified (made number one) by every facet of my life.
I lost the honor and privilege of raising Eva Lucia to know and love Jesus here on this earth for a few decades, but I know she knows and loves him and sees him face to face even as I write this. My mind and heart cannot contain the joy I have to know this.
Father, you are such a good dad. You have blessed me so incredibly I am without words. Thank you for reminding me the true cost of following your Son Jesus. It costs me everything. It cost you everything to rescue me. Thank you. I love you.