"If anyone comes to me and does not hate ... his own life-he cannot be my disciple."
In Jesus' day religious students chose which rabbi they wanted to learn from-like college students who decide which college to attend and which professors to study under. Luke tells us that Jesus was a popular rabbi. His classrooms, the fields in which he preached, were always filled as crowds gathered around him.
Imagine the eyes of people growing wide as Jesus described how to go from being mere followers to being his disciples! They had to be prepared to leave their families and every other commitment that might get in the way of following Jesus. And in case there were any in the crowd who made commitments too easily, Jesus warned against hasty decisions. He described situations in which people needed to count the cost before starting a building project or battling an enemy.
Think of Jesus' disciples. They hadn't chosen Jesus-Jesus had chosen them! And now they were being reminded of the cost of being his disciples. Their eyes must have grown wider as Jesus' sermon grew longer!
Doesn't discipleship feel that way sometimes-like a series of awakenings to its high costs? But look at the high price Jesus paid to become our Savior! It's good to remember, when weariness sets in, that the One who calls us to serve him went all the way to a cross to give up his life in exchange for ours.
<p>Dear Father, fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, so that we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us. In his name we pray. Amen.</p>
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!