Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Living Radically For Christ Pt. 1

What does it mean to live a radical life for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Where will it take us? What will we have to give up? What does our Savior authoritatively teach us in how to become one of His disciples? The text is Luke 14 and I will hopefully answer those questions with humility of spirit, because this passage was convicting to me when I read it, and when I listened to a sermon on this particular passage. So bear with me when I try to unpack this passage.

Luke 14:25-33
Now great crowds accompanied 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. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple.

In this passage, we have three conditions that Jesus lays out for discipleship and we have two parabolic illustrations that warn us about making a careless decision to follow Christ. However, in this first part, I will thoroughly unpack the first condition of discipleship that Jesus clearly lays straight out for us. The first condition is found in verse 26. 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. Ok, I know what some of you are already thinking. Hatred to my own parents, hatred to my own family, hatred to my own children, hatred to my own brothers and sisters. I thought that Jesus told us to love them. Isn't hate the exact opposite of love? Yes, in some sense of the actual truth, those answers are totally correct, but the danger here is watering down what Jesus is trying to say. What I mean is that, with this particular passage, some people try to fudge a little bit by saying, "Is Jesus truly teaching us to literally hate our brother, hate our mother, hate our father, hate our children. Come on, the Bible tells us to honor our parents and love our family. The Bible doesn't tell us to hate them." So because of that, we don't give a second thought to this passage. We turn our blind eye towards this passage and hope that it will go away; even when Jesus is clearly telling us how to be one of His disciples. So, what is Jesus really trying to exposit here?

The Greek word for hate is miseo. This word takes on two different extensions. The first one is to despise or to utterly hate something or someone, and the second extension takes on an entirely different form. The second extension is to love less. The second form makes more sense than the first form in the context of this particular passage, but what or who are we too love more than our parents, brothers, sisters, children. I know you can easily get this answer. Our first and foremost desire should be to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength (Matthew 22:37). Our love towards our parents, brothers, and sisters should be hatred compared to our love for God. That is what Jesus is trying to teach us. Our love for God and for His Word should far exceed any possible iota of love toward our parents. That doesn't mean we discontinue honoring our parents or obeying them. Just the opposite. If we truly love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we will want to obey His commandments, we will want to trust Him daily, and we will want to desire a relationship with Him. With that said, loving and honoring God, first and foremost above all things, will deepen our affections and love for our parents, which in result begins and ends with the first and greatest commandment. Our chief end should be to love the Lord with everything that we have and that is just the beginning of living a radical life for the cause of Christ. End Part 1


7 comments:

Kevin Wegner said...

Great Post! You brought out the meaning of the 1st part of the passage very clearly :D

God Bless!
Kevin

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The messenger said...

Revelation I got from God about my life after returning from Sedona,Az.
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I found myself on a mountain at the end of my rope. Before me appeared a much larger rope that led as far as the eye could see. I had been climbing the rope that I was on for so long and it seemed to lead no where. Sometimes the climb was easy,sometimes it was hard,but it never seemed to get me anywhere. After much struggle with the rope I was on,one day I took a leap of "Faith" and grabbed onto the much larger rope. I started climbing and a change came over me. The higher I got, the stronger I got.At the same time,I became more frightened for fear of falling. I stopped a few times to catch my breath but felt compelled to keep climbing. Then I noticed the more I climbed,the less afraid I became. When I looked up, I could see the top of the mountain,I was in the clouds. I had almost reached the top. My heart was pounding my energy was high and I notice there had been a change in me that had taken place. I reach the top and stood up. What I saw, was the most incredible view I had ever seen. My mind was clear and taking in all the beauty around me. My heart was so soft,I wanted to cry. My soul had been changed and I felt like a new person. I would never look at my life the same. I reflected on the rope that I had spent my whole life on and wondered why I thought that the rope I was on would lead me to happiness. After trying to absorb this overwhelming quest, I all the sudden felt a great desire to climb back down the rope and tell others what I had experienced. As I climbed down,I saw other people on the rope. Some were up high and some had just started the climb. But many people were right in the middle not moving. Not going up nor going back down. When I got to the beginning of the rope, I started telling everyone that would listen to me about the rope that led to the top. Most people wouldn't listen to what I had to say. They were so content with climbing their own rope, which I knew would lead them no where for I had been climbing the same type of rope for so many years. Some people saw the rope I was on but were to afraid to make the leap of "Faith". They were afraid of falling. I noticed that while telling people about the rope,the place seemed dark and cold. It was until I saw the light on the mountain top that I could distinguish the difference. The individual ropes that we climb represents us living our own life trying to achieve fame,fortune and success on our own. Living life to satisfy ourselves. The leap to the other rope is the leap of "Faith" when we surrender our lives to Jesus. Give your life and Receive eternal life. The rope of life represents the hand of God.Climb it diligently and always know....God will never let you fall. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Jesus has his hand out. Grab hold of him! The climb represents the struggles that we endure. God will give you the Holy Spirit to comfort you and encourage you on your climb+++ When you reach the top of the mountain,the scales fall off your eyes. You have achieved eternal life You acknowledge that you have been Born Again and you got to go tell someone!!! The people that stop on the rope and become comfortable, represent the Luke warm Christian that God will spew out of his mouth. One is either in the dark or in the light. There is nothing in between. If you are by the door in the dark....your still in the dark. The Lord wants us to have a great passion for him and be on fire for him. When you are in the dark,your eyes adjust. When most everyone around you is in darkness,you don't know your in the dark. It is only when you step into the light that you realize what a dark place you were in. I pray that this will encourage you and others to seek the lord. Love thy Lord God with all your Heart,Soul,Mind and Strength. Please allow me to share with you HOW to love our Lord God with all your heart,soul,mind and strength.

Ray Baker
(Messenger)
followingjesus@comcast.net

Andrew Clarke said...

This is a helpful post. Pointing out what the passage means, that we should love anything of this world LESS than Jesus Christ, does make the passage easier to take in and be happy with.

Costume Queen said...

As an individual seeking to fashion your life after Jesus Christ, you might be interested in participating in the event, "14 Days of Thankfulness." I am hosting this two-week event through my blog, Untraveled Path (http://untraveledpath.blogspot.com). You can read more about it on this page:

http://untraveledpath.blogspot.com/2009/11/14-days-of-thankfulness.html

I hope you will join me in celebrating Thanksgiving by counting the blessings God has given!

If you personally cannot participate, I would appreciate it if you would spread the word about the event! =)

Rachel M. said...

Thank you, Costume Queen, for telling us about the "14 Days of Thankfulness"! What a neat idea. :)

Blessings,
Rachel M.

Renee' said...

:) Evening :) Hope your saturday was Great, Thanks for popping into Jacobs and My blog, He wanted to follow yours I said it was ok :)

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