“Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, ‘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 14:25-26
After a couple has been going out for a while one of the parties, usually the woman, wants to have a DTR (Define the Relationship) talk. What is this? Are we just friends? Are we officially boyfriend and girlfriend? Is this possibly heading toward marriage? This makes the man, or the woman, look at the relationship honestly, and causes them to come to a crossroads where a decision must be made that will affect the future of the relationship.
In the passage above Jesus is asking for a DTR response from the crowds that are following Him. In the book, Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman comments on this passage:
“Jesus uses such dramatic language here, because in this culture if you were to become a follower of Jesus without having your family’s blessing, you would have been thought of as hating your family. A decision to follow Jesus would have been interpreted as turning your back on your family and walking away from them.” (pg 57)
Idleman continues: “In Luke 14 Jesus defines the relationship by making it clear that if we follow Him, we follow Him and Him alone. He won’t share us – not with money; not with a career, not even with your family. Maybe you read a passage like this and it seems that God is being a little possessive and jealous. But understand this – when Jesus explains that He will not share your affection or devotion, He isn’t just saying how He wants to be loved by you; He is making it clear how He loves you.
Where are you with Jesus? Is He not only first in your life but the center, the one and only, that true devotion requires? We need to define the relationship to move forward in God.