14:25 Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them,
14:26 “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.
14:27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
14:28 For 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?
14:29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him,
14:30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
14:31 Or 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?
14:32 If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace.
14:33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
God calls for us to love Him wholeheartedly, unconditionally and without reservation. Earthly possessions are not to compare to what God has in store for us. This type of love that Christ is describing here is also a costly one. It requires of us to look to our earthly gains as things are deemed worthless in comparison to our love for Him.
When Christ talks about “hating” our families, He is not implying that we hate them. Rather, He is saying that our love for our family, should be at a lesser degree in comparison to our love for Christ. A true mark of a Christian and one who desires to follow after Christ is not tied down by the pleasures of this world. Christ is describing the seriousness of what it means to be His disciple.
Christ even points out that we need to weigh the cost of being a follower of Christ. Only those who carefully assess the cost and choose to rather invest in God’s kingdom, will be worthy to enter and spend all of eternity with Him. This analogy of giving up earthly possessions challenges us with something much deeper; it is an absolute, total and complete surrender to follow after Christ and find satisfaction in Him.
This is a challenge to each and every one of us to examine our hearts and dig deep to find the things that are hindering us from fully loving and following after God. He is the only one that can truly satisfy our every need. He longs to give us a place in which we can one day spend eternity with Him. Let us answer the call to love our God with all of our heart, soul and mind.
Certainly, Jesus is not advocating for domestic discord in Luke 14. He is not suggesting that your family is your enemy either. He is using hyperbolic examples to demonstrate the priority of the kingdom. He is using the most well known bond in the ancient near east, the family, to make a point. The cost of following me is even greater than your family unit.
Jesus is not interested in fair-weather followers. He is not interested in lukewarm disciples. He is not interested in self-serving servants. Jesus wants dedicated, committed, thick-or-thin followers that will understand the cost of discipleship. He wants disciples that can finish the work and not stop short of the finish line.
No runner gets the medal if they stop before the finish line. Therefore, count the costs, prepare for the mission, pick up your cross, and follow after the one who make the narrow path.