Jesus made a life changing statement to a crowd of followers once when he said, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
Could you picture the look on their faces? I can imagine that maybe more than a few of them felt a little liberated at the thought of finally getting the chance to publicly hate some of their family members. There might have even been a few who were confused at His comments when they remembered that this was the same Jesus who told them to love their enemies. It was probably a very conflicting day for many of Jesus’ followers.
It is really a pretty conflicting statement for us today. Does Jesus really want us to hate our families and only love him? The answer to that is a resounding NO. He wants you to love your families, neighbors, and your enemies.
But the real question is whom do we love the most. In other words Jesus is asking “Am I one of many in your life, the first of many in your life or am I your one and only?” When compared to everything you hold dear in your heart and everyone you share your love with where does Jesus stand?
This is a faith-altering question when you think about it. What Jesus really wants to know is if He is your true heart’s desire. Is He really your one and only?
Here is another way to put it. If tomorrow following Jesus cost you everything you hold dear would you still follow Him? Would you? If it cost you your success, your money, your kids, your spouse, your reputation and even your life would He still be your one and only? Would He still be enough? I hope your answer is yes. It’s the cost of discipleship.