The Priority of Love - Luke 14

The Priority of Love

Luke 14:1-35

"Father, I hate you!"  These words were spoken by a recent convert to the Christian faith to his unbelieving parent, who had no interest in the Bible or religion in general.  When the young man first told his father that he had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, his father expressed neither approval nor disapproval.  But when his son told him that he actually hated him, the man was dumbfounded.  Why would he speak to him like that?  What had he done?

The truth is that the father hadn't done anything.  This babe in Christ had read Luke 14:26: "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."  He showed this verse to his father, and walked away.

Hurt and perplexed the father went to a Christian friend and asked, "What kind of Christianity is this?  If someone wants to become a disciple of Christ, does he have to hate his father?  Before my son became a Christian we got along just fine.  But now he hates me."

The friend quoted Exodus 20:12 from the Ten Commandments, which says, "Honor your father and your mother...."  This commandment is repeated in the New Testament in Ephesians 6:1-3.  Truly the son misunderstood Luke 14:26.  In Luke 6:27 Jesus said, "Love your enemies."  Let's see.  Are Christians supposed to love their enemies, and hate their fathers and other family members?  Of course not!

What did Jesus mean?  We should interpret the verse in question in a comparative manner.  In Matthew 10:37-39 He put it this way: "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."  These are very powerful words.  Jesus' emphasis is on the priority of love.  He meant that we must place Him above all other relationships.  To be His disciple He must be Lord of all.

One day a missionary's young son, who was elementary school age, came to him and said, "I know someone that you love more than me."  No!  No!  The father told the son that he didn't love anyone more than he loved him.  Then the youngster smiled and said, "Dad, you love Jesus more than me."  He paused and added, "But that's ok, because I know that you love me, too."  That's what Jesus was talking about.

 

Lord, You told us to count the cost of discipleship.  We've done that in the light of the cost of our salvation at Calvary.  Count us in.  We choose to follow you.  Just lead the way.  In Jesus name.  Amen!

 

Lost and Found - Luke 15

 
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Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
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