Reading: Luke 14: 25-27
Jesus wants to make sure those in the crowd understand that to follow Him is a commitment. He is beginning to head to Jerusalem to face the cross; He wants all to know the level of allegiance that walking this road will require. To continue to follow Jesus, each must pick up and carry their own cross. Jesus wants His audience then and us now to fully know what is expected.
First and foremost we must lay all else aside. Jesus and our relationship with Him must take precedence over all other relationships in our life. Our relationship with Jesus needs to be above our relationships with our family, our friends, our teammates, our bosses, our coworkers, our job, our interests, our possessions. In our lives, Jesus must rule over and above all else if we are to become His disciple. Then all of our other relationships will be in their proper place. All will be secondary to our relationship with Jesus but all will be better because of this dynamic. We will be a better father, brother, husband, wife, worker… because our relationship with Jesus is our priority.
Making and keeping Jesus our priority is a challenge. We live in a fast-paced world that places high demands and expectations on us. We live in a world that has radically different expectations than Jesus has. The world says to place self above all else. Jesus says for self to get way at the back of the line. The world says to accumulate as much as we can. Jesus says to give as much away as we can. The world says to just do it if it makes you feel good. Jesus says to seek ways to make others’ lives better.
To walk with Jesus as His disciple is hard. The path is difficult. The choices and decisions are counter-cultural. The relationship with Jesus takes supreme commitment. But the life lived in Jesus is the life worth living. It is a life filled with hope, love, mercy, grace, contentment, forgiveness, and peace. May we all be strong in our walk with the Lord.