Social Media has focused the attention of millions of people on gathering followers. Re-tweets, likes, pins, friends, shares, favorites, and follows accumulate like treasure in our online accounts. So I wonder whether Jesus would have failed on Social Media. His words to a multitude sound as though they were designed to drive people away, not make for a simple sign-up.
Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:25-26)
How would you respond to a minor celebrity who spoke to you like that?
“Wait. You want me to hate my family before I can follow you? Are you crazy!”
These are some of Jesus’ most challenging words. He sounds unreasonably demanding until we realize that He used the word “hate” in a Jewish way. This was the customary way to speak of someone who had prime place in a relationship. Jesus calls for followers who will “hate” everyone else relative to their devotion to Him.1 Even a person’s commitment to their closest family members should come second to their commitment to Jesus.
Proof of Jesus’ meaning lies in the fact that He fingered the disciple’s own life. To suggest that followers should hate themselves would indeed be a crazy demand. But to call for a deeper commitment to Himself than to myself is simply to challenge me to the reality of discipleship. This is no broad and easy path. Jesus did not come to start a fan club of casual followers joined by the simple click of a mouse. Jesus came to spark a revolution. Revolutions come at a high price.
Are you casually following Jesus at a distance, or are you right there alongside Him?
The goal of Bible Maturity is to promote spiritual growth and faith in God. Please share these short Bible devotions with your friends and family and pray for revival.
- Malachi 1:2-3 is another example. [↩]