THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 48
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me”
“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.” – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 10:37-39.
A simple face value reading should leave the reader with questions, such as, ‘What kind of God would demand such absolute attention and control over someone’s life’, and WHY?
Here is the Amplified Bible version:
“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 [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] is not worthy of Me.
“Whoever finds his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death],
“and whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity].”
Once you give your life over to Jesus to this degree, He directs you to love your wife, the same way He loves the Church and gave His life for her. He tells you to love and honor your father and mother and your children with His love.
We could encapsulate or summarize verses 37 – 39, by saying that following Jesus means you are “ALL IN or NOT IN AT ALL”.
It means you are desiring and willing to allow God to fill you with His Spirit, with His desires and His ways. You are willing to become, and you are becoming:
Humble Meek Joyful
Generous Loving Responsible
Self-Controlled Truthful Deferential
Creative Sincere Faithful
Thrifty Took Initiative Discrete
Resourceful Sensitive to others Decisive
Alert Compassionate Wise
Bold Attentive Obedient
Reverent Virtuous Determined
Tolerant Just Content
Forgiving Loyal Available
Persuasive Patient Hospitable
Gracious Grateful Enthusiastic
Gentle Punctual Thorough
Secure Diligent Enduring
Dependable Cautious Orderly
At the same time, your life will exhibit:
love [unselfish concern for others]
patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting],
And still, just as Jesus came to do these things, you will follow Him, likewise:
1. TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH
John 18:37 “Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”
2. BRING A SWORD
Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Verse 35, For I came to TURN A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; verse 36, and A PERSON’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.”
3. FULFILL THE LAW
Matthew 5:17 “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.”
4. CALL SINNERS
Mark 2:17 “And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
5. TELL ABOUT JESUS WHO SAVES THE WORLD
John 12:47 “If anyone hears My teachings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”
6. CAST FIRE & BRING DIVISION UPON THE EARTH
Luke 12:49 “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! Verse 50, But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Verse 51, Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather to create division; “
The Point here, is that as followers and disciples of Jesus, the attitude, methods and ways of Jesus are to be our calling, our attitude and our methods and ways, also.
So, what makes you ‘worthy’ of Him?
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength [your entire being].” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
And, how shall you attain to this?
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be [written] on your heart and mind. You shall teach them diligently to your children [impressing God’s precepts on their minds and penetrating their hearts with His truths] and shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand (forearm), and they shall be used as bands (frontals, frontlets) on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
We will find satisfaction and joy everlasting through these things. But make no mistake, this is hard work. It is hard work following Jesus, but it is the only way to life.
Your Brother and Friend,
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, “Whoever receives you, receives Me”, Part 49.
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, “ Whoever loves father or mother more than me “, Part 47