Posted by Steven Sarff
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.(Luk 14:25-27)
Why do people think that God will not let you live the live you want to? To be able to choose your own life and to do with it what you want, live how you want, enjoy what you want is something that you can do. God even says so in His own word. I know, I know, you are thinking “Wait…live how you want?” That is a Bible message? If that is the case why am I living this pure, clean and righteous life?
You see, the thing most people don’t see in the above passage is that you do have a choice. It is like this. Imagine you were going for an interview and the C.E.O. was doing the interview so you knew that it was a pretty big deal. He says “Look, I want you to work for me, I want you to be dedicated to the mission of my company. I just want you to know before you start what it is that you will need to do in order work for me. After I explain it to you, you will get to choose if you want to work here or not.”
You choose. If you want to work there or if you don’t but if you choose to, you know what is expected. Sounds fair to me. However, which of us would decide not to work there and then go back 30 years later and expect to collect the retirement benefits?
Well, we have a lot of people who have made the choice to NOT follow and work with Jesus (some make a show of it and show up once in a while) but they still want to collect the retirement plan benefits. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
When Jesus says “If you don’t….you cannot”, you would think people would pay attention to that but many people are like “what? That was in the contract? I never saw that paragraph!”
Balancing God’s grace with these verses (and the context) may not seem an easy thing to do but I don’t think Jesus has any problem with it. We need to take words like this seriously, as we consider the commitment that we made to follow Jesus. It is likely that no one fully understood the commitment that they made to follow Jesus (In all likelihood, not even the disciples understood the extent of their commitment) but we do know and can have confidence that the reward is worth it. If you aren’t loving Jesus above all others in your life, it is time to quit Jesus or change your life.