Luke 14:25-33 (NRSV)
Verse 25Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, Verse 26"Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Verse 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Verse 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Verse 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, Verse 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Verse 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? Verse 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. Verse 33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
Jesus uses the example of the family in this passage because he knows that although the family can be the source of life’s richest joys, it can also be the place we feel we are “being put to death” by conflicts, brokenness, and losses. Jesus knows that we can easily fall into the temptation of trying to make our life with our friends and our church an island of security and peace. Often, we prefer to be shielded from horrible stuff happening in the world. Jesus wants us to be aware there is only one Savior. Instead of simply hearing Jesus today say, “Give up all your possessions,” perhaps it would be insightful to also hear, “Give up ON all your possessions.” They will never save you. They will never bring you lasting joy and fulfillment.
Precious Lord, take my hand and keep my eyes focused on the cross of Christ where there is eternal life and salvation for ever and ever. Amen.