Jesus Said What? pt. 2
“So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” Luke 14:33
Once again, we turn our attention to a difficult teaching of Jesus found in Luke 14. The chapter is filled with statements and commands that can leave us shocked. It seems our impulse is to figure out what Jesus actually meant because he can’t seriously be suggesting we actually follow these commandments! From Luke 14:25-33, Jesus instructs the crowds to hate their family and even life itself, carry their cross, and give up all their possessions. That’s quite the trifecta!
While the language may be jarring, Jesus is sending a clear message: if we want to be a disciple, we must make sacrifices to ensure that Jesus is our top priority. We can’t let anything get in the way of our relationship with God. Sometimes, our parents or spouse may not approve of how we practice our faith. Sometimes our focus on possessions distracts us from God or we care more for possessions than the needs of our neighbors. Our “stuff” can hinder and hold us back from giving our all to Jesus.
Jesus demands everything of us. This is why he asks us to carry our cross and follow him. There is a cost to discipleship. Discipleship will require sacrifice of the things that hinder us from following Jesus. For some Christians, discipleship may even cost them their lives. In the United States, our biggest challenge seems to be our possessions. We are inundated with advertisements and taught that “stuff” will fulfill us. May we remember that “stuff” cannot satisfy. Jesus is the one who can satisfy us. While sacrifice is required, the path of discipleship is rewarding. And God’s grace and love will be there to sustain us through it all.