A Disciple’s Best Life: Now or Later? (Luke 14:25-35)

[PRIORITY]

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.

“To hate” means is not to “Prioritize” Jesus said this because in Jewish culture, family is their priority. The Scripture says that His disciples Peter, Andrew, James and John left their work and even their father. (Matthew 4:18-22) And so Matthew the Tax Collector (Matthew 9:9) But today we cannot apply this “hate- priority” literally today. How? Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. (Mark 12:29-30) To prioritize God should be in the context of God’s  providence. It means you don’t have to violate God’s command just to follow other command. Because “God’s will is good, acceptable, perfect” (Romans 12:2)

(Husband/Father), “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.. (Ephesians 5:25-28) God does not call you to lay down your life to church (ministry) He called you irrevocably to lay down your life to your wife, to love and disciple her. Your priority is your wife before your ministry in Church. Then next as father, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) That is, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). And tell them the gospel of Jesus (2 Timothy 3:14-15) It is not the Sunday’s school teachers priority to teach your children though it is part of the Sunday service, it is your responsibility! If you don’t teach these things and spend time on your children, you are giving your children to the world and to devil’s scheme.  So it’s about loving your wife and disciple them, next is your children.

(Wife/Mother), “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church,  He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought
to be to their husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)) “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe
your chaste and respectful behavior.” (1 Peter 3:1-2) and being a virtuous woman. (Proverbs 31:10-31)

(Children/Youth/Young People), “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3) It means, you are active in Church (ministry) but not at home. That’s not God’s will! First be active at home then outside and Church. “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. (Psalms 119:9)

People/Lost/Believers), The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31) To love..to do good, to greet without expecting in return. Therefore [aq]you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48) To warn and tell them the truth of the Gospel; the consequence of sin and the forgiveness only through the cross of Christ, His death and resurrection. (John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Ephesians 2:8-9) And commanding them like Jesus (Mark 1:15), Peter (Acts 2:38), Paul (Acts 17:30) the gospel invitation, the call to “REPENT and BELIEVE (Faith)”

With all these, “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ: The God Who Sees Us!

This status caught my attention, “I’m pretty sure that in [God’s eyes], [all of us] are as [cute and adorable] as this baby!”

I’m not concern with the baby, in fact he’s indeed cute and adorable. But my concern is in the statement it says, “God’s eyes” and “All of us”. Let’s look on the Truth and Light of the Scripture. First, [God’s eyes] “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13) Second, [All of us] “There is no one righteous, not even one;..”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:10,23) Do you see the problem? How can a holy [God’s eyes] look on [All of us] favorably as though we are like [cute and adorable] baby?“For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies.”  (Psalms 5:4-6) “God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.” (Psalms 7:11) How can we put these things together? How can we get right with God? How can He look on us favorably if He is holy, righteous, and just?

The answer is this; God made a way to show His unconditional love, grace and mercy through his Son Jesus by this, (The Gospel)

“being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 
(Romans 3:24-26)

God can look on us favorably through His Son Jesus who died for our sin, was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). What now? “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, and believe the Gospel!” (Acts 17:30, Mark 1:15)

 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ: Scandalous

“This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against and so reveal their secret thoughts…”
(Luke 2:34-35)

One of the attributes of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is scandalous. Why? It says, that, ‘the secret thoughts of many will what? Will be revealed, will be exposed’. “Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up.” (John 3:20) Therefore, “..people whose evil ways prevent the truth from being known.” (Romans 1:18b) That’s why it says, ‘people will speak against” [Jesus], they mocked, ridiculed and to the point ‘they meant to throw him over the cliff’ (Luke 4:29) Even the apostles, disciples and historical believers experienced great persecution because of the scandal of the message of the Gospel. The apostle Paul says that the message of the Christ crucified is, “offensive and nonsense” (1 Corinthians 1:23)

We read that, this child [Jesus] is chosen.. chosen by God for what? For the message about Christ’s death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; this is what it meant, “The destruction of many.. but for us who [those] are being saved; this is what it meant, “the salvation of many.. who are being saved it is God’s power. (1 Corinthians 1:18) apostle Paul says, “..it is God’s power to save all who believe..” (Romans 1:16)

Now, if the Gospel you are preaching ceases to offend men? When you remove the scandal, you also remove the power of God. You are not preaching the true Gospel at all.

The Way of the Master

Master, we know that thou art true. This is the righteousness which they counterfeit, when they offer humble subjection to Christ, as if they were desirous to learn, and as if they not only had some relish for piety, but also were fully convinced of his doctrine; for if what they said had been from the heart, this would have been true uprightness. And therefore from their words we may obtain a definition of a good and faithful teacher, such as they pretended to believe Christ to be. They say that he is true, and teaches the way of God; that is, he is a faithful interpreter of God, and that he teaches it in truth; that is, without any corruption. The way of God is contrasted with the inventions of men, and with all foreign doctrines; and truth is contrasted with ambition, covetousness, and other wicked dispositions, which usually corrupt the purity of instruction. So then he ought to be reckoned a true teacher, who does not introduce the contrivances of men, or depart from the pure word of God, but gives out, as it were, with his hands what he has learned from the mouth of God, and who, from a sincere desire of edification, accommodates his doctrine to the advantage and salvation of the people, and does not debase it by any disguise. As to this latter clause, when Paul asserts that he does not make merchandise of the word of God, “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:17) he means that there are some persons who use dexterity, and do not openly overturn sound doctrine, or incur the disgrace of holding wicked opinions, but who disguise and corrupt the purity of doctrine, because they are ambitious, or covetous, or easily turned in various directions according to their earnest desire. He therefore compares them to jockeys, (kupelleuontes,) because they deprive the pure use of the word of God.

For thou regardest not the person of men. It is also worthy of attention, that those hypocrites likewise add, that Christ teaches rightly, because he has no regard for the person of men. Nothing has a more powerful tendency to withdraw teachers from a faithful and upright dispensation of the word than to pay respect to men; for it is impossible that anyone who desires to please men “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) should truly devote himself to God. Some attention, no doubt, is due to men, but not so as to obtain their favor by flattery. In short, in order to walk uprightly, we must necessarily put away respect of persons, which obscures the light and perverts right judgment, as God frequently inculcates in the Law,  “And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.” (Deuteronomy 1:16), You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous” (Deuteronomy 16:19) and as experience also points out. Thus Christ “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24) contrasts acceptance of persons (prosopolepsian) and sound judgment as things totally different.

“And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God….” (Mark 12:14)