Key Verse: Luke 14:33 “…whoever of you does not forsake all he has cannot be Me disciple.”
I don’t like those words in the key verse. Nor do I like these words: “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. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple” (vs. 26,27 NIV). I dislike them, not just because they offend my values, but also because they seem out of character with Jesus, if taken at face value.
I say “out of character” for a number of reasons. First of all, Jesus had a high view of scripture, which included a high view of the ten commandments — one of which says, “Honour your father and mother…” Secondly, He had a high view of children — “suffer the little children to come unto Me…” Jesus respected the word of His Father which commands us to “train up a child in the way he should go…” — so how do you do this if you have deserted the child?
Obviously, Jesus was doing there what He often did as was the custom of a good semitic teacher: He used exaggeration for the sake of emphasis. He shocked people into seeing the point. The point here was simply that Jesus expects His disciples to put God and His kingdom first (“seek first the kingdom of heaven, and its righteousness…”), and personal concerns second (“…and all these things will be added unto you” –Matt.6:33).
He’s a lover of our souls, but He’s a jealous lover. Don’t cross Him.