Jesus says some pretty radical things.
Intentionally lower yourself.
Invite poor people to your house.
Leave ninety nine sheep behind and go look for one.
Hate your mom and dad.
This last one was always a hard one for me. I absolutely loved my Mother and my Daddy. After all, I was instructed by the Ten Commandments to honor them. They birthed, raised, cared for, provided for and loved me like none other. They prayed for me, taught me, sang to me, shared their faith and dreams with me. How could I not love them?
I didn't understand this passage until I received "the call" from God. My dad thought the call would ruin his plans for my life. My mother thought the call was extravagant and irresponsible. I knew the call was exactly what God created me to do.
For seven years, I honored my parents and followed their dreams for me.
Then, in my daily devotional, I fell upon this passage.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
I called my parents and with tears told them I could no longer fulfill their dream for me. I had to obey God's call.
Jesus' call upon our lives does not allow us to have any other loyalty above our allegiance to him. We are not to allow anything to stand in the way of what God's will is for our lives. All traditions, schedules, attachments must submit to our new life in Christ.
It's a tall order. Jesus speaks strong words.
That's so like him.
It can be very disturbing.
Or Christ's truth can set us free...