The Cost of Following Jesus

“When you follow me as my disciple, you must put aside your father, your mother, your wife, your sisters, your brothers—yes, you will even seem as though you hate your own life. This is the price you’ll pay to be considered one of my followers. Luke 14:26 The Passion Translation (TPT)

14:26 Or “hate”. This is an Aramaic and Hebraic metaphor for putting Jesus above every other relationship. The Aramaic word sna has several meanings and can mean “hate” or “put aside.” In this case Jesus, the King of love is not saying to hate but to put aside every other relationship into second place.

I didn’t understand this scripture with most Bible translations saying; “hatehis father and mother, wife and children…” I looked up the original text because the Lord put this scripture on my heart recently while I was visiting my 93-year-old mother in Perth, Western Australia.

I was in the city of my birth, sitting with my mother, two sisters, nieces and other family members. I felt the Holy Spirit say; “this is not your home or your real family, the person they think you are is not who you are.” This scripture came to mind as I sat quietly feeling a desire to go home to my real family, my spiritual family, with no further need of acceptance, for who I am from my natural family.

I’ve come to realize what’s more important than even our physical family—is God’s spiritual family. When we follow Jesus, we have a greater, deeper relationship with the family of God—the church. This scripture means to give up fleshly family ties if it becomes necessary to do so in order to put God first (Luke 14:20,24).

Yes, the family ties of blood kin can be extremely wonderful. They can provide unending security and acceptance. When working properly, a physical family fulfills an important job that God intended. But these same blood ties can be the very thing that discourages us from standing strong and firm for the truth and can try to stop us from putting God’s church first—even above physical family (Matthew 6:33).

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