Can You Be His Disciple?

I wanted to share a quote with you today from a sermon by David Platt.  This is from his blog:

For you and for anyone in this room to come to Jesus means to lay down your life and your possessions and your pursuits and your family and your future–your everything–to surrender to him. Jesus never calls a person to partial, casual discipleship … cultural discipleship. There’s one option: radical discipleship. It’s the surrender of everything you have and everything you are to Jesus.

 ​ – The Gospel and the Rich​ (2.9.14)
Jesus doesn’t call us to a casual relationship with Him.  This passage from Luke 14 really drives that point home.  He uses the word “cannot” twice.  He says that unless you hate your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters and your own self, you cannot be His disciple.  Unless you carry your cross and follow Jesus, you cannot be His disciple.  This word “hate” is a very strong word.  In the original context it doesn’t mean what we think it means.  It is hyperbolic language that means to “love less.”  Take a look at a similar passage from Matthew’s Gospel:

Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. – Matthew 10:37-39 (NIV)

The key to being a disciple of Jesus is not to hate everyone around you.  It is to love Jesus the most.  It is to put Jesus first each and every day.  Everything comes second to Jesus.  Does this sound harsh?  Yep.  Does this sound radical?  Absolutely.  Does this sound impossible?  Maybe.  It doesn’t lessen the call of Jesus to radical discipleship.  We may not like it, but children don’t like medicine, either.  It’s not about what we want or our comfort.  It’s not about our preferences or our desires.  It’s about what Jesus wants.  It’s about what He desires.  It’s about His Kingdom.  It’s about a daily decision to follow Jesus – no turning back, no turning back.  Will we put Jesus first today or will we put ourselves first?  What will we choose?  Comfort or the cross?  To be a casual Christian in name only or a radical follower of Christ?
Luke 14:25-27 (NIV)
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

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