This is one of those passages that can be scary. What we see is Jesus addressing the crowd that is following Him about the cost that comes with being a disciple of Christ. He describes this in three parts.
- Jesus says in verse 26, If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. This seems wrong at first, since we are supposed to love others. But the term hate is a Semitic expression for loving less. This means that we should simply love Jesus more than all of these things, including ourselves.
- Verse 27, Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Bearing our cross means that we must deny our self or our own will and embrace God’s will, no matter what the cost. The cost of Jesus following the will of the Father was his death on the cross. In the same way, we are called to that kind of commitment.
- Verse 33, So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Jesus is absolutely asking for us to be willing to give up everything. If it came to it, we should have no problem leaving all that we have in pursuit of Jesus.
The reason that I said that this was a scary passage is because if we are all really honest, we would probably hesitate in these three areas. Jesus explains the danger of this with the analogy of the salt. In that time salt was taken from the dead sea, and had to be processed a specific way in order for it to be good. This process took time and if it was done wrong the salt was unusable. In the same way, if we are not truly committed to following Jesus, we become unusable. This seems harsh but if God calls us to something radical and we cannot leave behind our families or possessions and we are not willing to pay any cost, then we will not accomplish what He is calling us to do.
Examine yourself today and ask yourself if you are in line with the description Jesus gives of a Disciple.
By: Dakota Gragg — Student Ministry Associate