Posts Tagged ‘Luke 14’


Read Luke 14:25-35
Sometimes Jesus is perplexing. The one who tells us to love friends, neighbors, even enemies, the one who says “they will know you are my disciples if you love one another” all of the sudden starts saying we have to hate those closest to us, and even our own lives, if we want to follow Him. It’s so out of character, it’s almost baffling. Why would Jesus say such a thing?

This isn’t really about hatred, it’s about priorities and it’s about idolatry. He doesn’t really want us to hate these people, He simply wants us to love God more, and He’s right. Anything we put before God, anything we love more than God becomes an idol. Idols tear us away from God. Being away from God draws us away from the source of our love. Being disconnected from the source of our love forces us to love from our own strength. Our own strength is pretty fickle and weak compared to the all-surpassing love of God. Therefore to really love the people we have been given with a wonderful perfect love, we have to love and remain connected to God more. When we love God first, then we can truly love.

We love because He first loves us.

So what do we do with that love? We must each carry our cross. Probably not literally but what Jesus is saying is there is a cost to following Him. It’s not money, it’s sacrifice, self-sacrifice. It only makes sense. He sacrificed Himself for those He loves and so must we. No we won’t be nailed to a cross, or even die, instead we die to self for the good of others. We put others first. We love others more than we love ourselves and still we love Him most. He is our source—the source of our love.

Jesus then goes on and gives two examples of what it means to count the cost. What does it cost to follow Jesus? Everything and yet nothing or maybe nothing and yet everything. He gave Himself freely and yet to receive His gift is to put Him first, to make Him, knowing Him, serving Him, following Him, our number one priority. Salvation is a free gift. Following Him will cost you everything. The cost is high and yet nothing compared to the great gift He gave for us. Yet to receive Him is to receive the Kingdom, becoming joint heirs of everything, leaving the slavery of sin to become sons and daughters of God forever. We are here not just to receive eternity but to point others to eternity. To point others to the ultimate free gift that will cost them everything. It requires sacrifice to draw others to sacrifice. Jesus modeled that and we must too, giving of ourselves so that others might live, the ultimate act of love. Carrying the cross, not dying but living, really living with a greater purpose than ourselves—an eternal purpose.

Creative reflections: (Do as many as you like or create your own response.)
1. Illustrate a key point in this passage, something that really speaks to you.
2. Write a story to show how this passage might be lived out in your life.
3. Make a list of the cost of being disciple. Then for each cost, write the benefit that comes with it.
4. Create a piece of art that will remind you to count the cost, carry your cross or any other take away you get from this passage.