This weekend’s passages are likely the most challenging ones we will look at in this series. On the surface, without context most of you won’t like them. Jesus knew that when he said it. In fact he laid it out on purpose to force a reality check that leads to a decision.
A large crowd continued to follow Him everywhere he went, curious about the miracles, the teaching and frankly enjoying the conflict between him and the Pharisees. But He knew that most didn’t really get Him yet. They were following physically but they weren’t really followers.
With that in mind he turned around and shot a real zinger… check it out:
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Matt. 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
What in the world? I thought God was love?! What about the good Samaritan and loving others, even our enemies? Is Jesus off His rocker?
My hope is not that you will leave but that you will step forward with Him.
Many American church leaders, including myself, fear the church in our country is more like this crowd than the upper room followers after the resurrection. What if the reason there is so much angst about what church is supposed to be AND why we have failed to impact our culture is that there aren’t as many real followers of Jesus in the crowd as we thought.
I dare you to reflect on these verses in context over the weekend and assess where you really are with Jesus. Come this weekend as we try to flesh it out together. My hope is not that you will leave but that you will step forward with Him. Please join us this weekend at 9:15 or 11:00 at Parkview in Lexington, NE.
Feel free to share you thoughts on what you think Jesus is getting at in these two verses.