[Jesus said] 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.
Putting Jesus First
Love your father and mother. Honor and obey them. Life will be better for you and for them. Take care of your family. Demonstrate sacrificial love for them and consider how you can help them even more than you already do. Take care of yourself. Take time to relax and refresh your energy.
But if you notice that doing any of those things makes you love Jesus less, then he calls you to some self-assessment. Do you overlook your parents doing things that Jesus condemns? Do you avoid calling them out on those things to avoid confrontation? Jesus calls on you to love him more than your parents.
Do you defend the actions of your spouse or your children even though you know they are wrong? Do you criticize Christians who gently point out that God wants what’s best for your brothers and sisters, and that’s why we have the Ten Commandments? Jesus calls on you to love him more than your family.
Do you spend a lot of time justifying what you know is wrong? Do you put your leisure time ahead of your time in God’s Word? Jesus calls on you to love him more than yourself.
Jesus really does know what’s best for you, and when he says these hard things, it’s because he knows how important it is that you stay connected to him. There is no other way of eternal salvation.
When I let the most important people in my life come ahead of you, Lord, call me back to repentance and faith in your dear Son, Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.