Luke 14:25 ¶ Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
Luke 14:29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
Luke 14:30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
This is a teaching that needs to be read and interpreted with some wise friends, a good study bible, and the Holy Spirit.
Remember in the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus said to chop off your hand if it causes you to sin? Or to gouge out your eye if you eye makes you sin? And how all of the disciples still had their hands and their eyeballs when they died?
This is some good Middle-Eastern hyperbole. In the style of the day, Jesus is saying that your love for Him must be extreme. Ask some of those strange people that haven’t had Coke for 9 years and feel great and have lost 39 pounds. They might tell you they hate Coke. The fact is, they love being 39 pounds lighter and feeling so healthy, that they don’t want any Coke anywhere near them!
The focus on all of this is how fervently we follow Jesus. We follow Him like we hate everything else. Like we’re already carrying our cross to die as we follow Him. That’s the next image He gives, right? Skillet would sing about it being like soaking your heart in gasoline. Five Iron Frenzy would sing about it being like wearing a time-bomb. (Best band ever!)
Jesus calls us to full, 100% devotion. There are crowds that visit in the outskirts and there are those that sit in the King’s tent. Jesus gives us the reasonable choice on where we want to be with Him.
He reasons it out like building a tower and later like two armies coming together. He doesn’t need to threaten or bribe. When you consider the riches and glory of following Christ, every other thing becomes greyish-taupe. When you consider Christ’s huge smile as He continually intercedes for you before the Father (Hebrews 7:25) no other smile compares.
As you consider the complete care that God has for you, the fear of job loss, hunger, poverty, or any difficulty fade away. Talk to some old people at church that have been through it and they’ll tell you: following Jesus above all other things is worth it. The love for anything else pales in comparison.