Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Jesus is speaking to His disciples here. He is talking about the cost of being His follower. It is a high cost to be a follower of Jesus. It is an even higher cost to be a follower who is passionately seeking to live for Him. But the benefits and the blessings are very much worth it. We do not earn our way to Heaven by what we do for God, but as a Christian our life is much more satisfying when we live passionately following Jesus. Here Jesus tells His disciples that anyone who loves their mother or father more than they love Him is not worthy to be His follower. This shows us that Jesus wants us to love Him more than anything else in this world. Jesus wants us to put Him first, to put His desires first in our life. There will be times when you may know that God wants you to do something. Maybe God wants you to go somewhere and you will be discouraged by your parents, your children, and your close friends. Jesus wants you to love and obey Him more than your parents or anyone else in your life. There are times that we have to make the choice to do what God wants us to do or to do what others want us to do. Jesus says that if we desire to be His followers, we must put His desires first above all else. Jesus gave up all that He had to purchase us. Sometimes we have to give up all we have to serve Him.
Not only are we to love Jesus more than we love our parents and families, but we are to love Him more than we love our children. Being a follower of Jesus means that He has to be the number one thing in our life. Jesus says that we cannot serve two masters. There comes a time when we have to make a choice. Being a disciple of Jesus, He wants us to always choose to put Him first in our lives. Jesus says that we are to take up our cross and follow Him. That means that we are to die to ourselves and live for Him, follow Him with our lives. It is what He wants for us. He encourages us by saying that anyone who loses his or her life for His sake will find it. That means that when we forsake everything in our life to follow Him, He will not leave us, He will make sure that we find what we were created to be. Jesus created us; we will never know why He made us until we lay down our life for Him and follow Him. That is the life of love, to lay down our life and put Jesus first. He says that if we desire to keep our life and not follow Him, we will lose all that we are living for. Fame, popularity, money, happiness, all of these things are one breath from being gone. When we live for Jesus, the things that we live for last for all eternity.
- Have you laid down your life to follow Jesus?
- If it came down to it, would you make the choice to follow Jesus regardless of what others say?
- Do you believe that you will truly find your life when you lay it all down for Jesus?
Today, keep your eyes and ears open and notice the times that Jesus would have you put Him before other things in your life. See how you respond to Him in those times.