Jesus said: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26, NRSV)
That’s quite a verse. Too often it is rationalized away to not mean what we don’t want it to mean. And often we wordsmith it down from the shock that it was intended to give. We are removed from the culture in which it was said too – family had far more significance than it does now. Family was essential to your own survival.
But this quote from Jesus raises other questions – questions about who.
Who is the center of your attention? Who is the person you look to first? Who is the the one you keep an ear out for because you care what they say more than other people? Who is the person that you think about more than anyone else? Who is the person you go to for answers questions or rhetoric for arguments?
Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe a child. Maybe a parent. Maybe it’s a politician. Maybe it’s a teacher. Maybe it’s a pastor. Maybe it’s a boss. Or maybe a celebrity or an athlete. Maybe it’s someone who is wealthy or successful by the world’s standards. Maybe it’s a close friend.
Maybe it depends on the subject. Maybe you named several different people to the questions above – it just depends on what the topic is.
Where does Jesus fit into these questions? Is Jesus someone you look to, or care what he has to say? Is Jesus the center of your attention? Or is Jesus just an afterthought, confined to one morning a week?