Difficult Inconvenient Truth #001

For those of us who have the passion to read our Bible every day …

From time to time we do read very difficult passage

Difficult because it demand firm decision making and sacrifices on our part to fully agree with what Jesus said and to do it!

Difficult because it address our relationship with God and people around us

Here is one example –

 

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.

 

This message is ..

Shocking …

Disturbing …

This message came from the same person who went to the cross and died for our sins

For us who accepted the grace and mercy of God to become Christian, we find this messaging itself very serious, especially spoken by Jesus Himself.

Jesus Himself taught us to love God and to love our neighbor, so why would Jesus say anything like that?!

 

A good way to gain better understanding of what Jesus said is to apply the following two principles

 

1) Most of Jesus’s teaching and message can be cross referenced to what was written or revealed in the Old Testament.

If we want to better understand Jesus’ teachings and commandments, what He did and why, a good option is to better understand what is written in the Old Testament.

The Old Testament does not just prophesied about the coming of Jesus, but also His ministry, His teachings and how this Jesus is the Messiah, the savior of the world, and what we need to do to follow Jesus.

Jesus came to fulfill what was written and revealed about Him in the Old Testament, therefore being a good student of the Old Testament will give us better understanding of what Jesus said and taught to us.

 

2) Jesus message centralizes in relationship between God and Man as priority.

Jesus message also teaches about people to people relationship but prioritize relationship between God and Man, and that does not mean Jesus marginalized human relationship.

Relationship from God towards Man is pure, in truth and righteousness as God is pure, true and righteous, and goes beyond human time to eternity.

Relationship between people and people can be complicated and limited by time.

*If you can believe and accept that Jesus is in fact helping us to establish better and more long lasting human relationship by teachings us to apply God’s way of relationship, we are better prepared to understand some of Jesus difficult teaching.

 

Now let’s look at

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.

Take note Jesus mentioned “even his own life” – there is something bigger than the individual self being addressed here.

Jesus is addressing our action and behavior which are affecting community living.

This message can be directly crossed referenced to

Deuteronomy 13:6-8

6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.

The context of Deuteronomy was given by God Himself, recorded by Moses and administered to a generation of people prepared to enter the Promised Land and to live together as a community of God-fearing people.

These commandments of God were meant to protect them, and keep them in unity and harmony with God and community and to teach them the way of righteousness and truth.

 

**Take note that God’s commandments have a lot of impact on community living.

 

A little bit of history lesson; the warning against going astray to serve other gods was not just about going to temple and shrines to ask for individual blessing and throw a few coins into the donation box using money from our own pocket.

There were ancient practices of children sacrifices, sorceries and mediums, dark magic which brought destruction upon the whole community, causing hurt towards innocent.

If you care about your family, you will not want to get involved in these and you want your family to stay safe.

 

You want to make sure you serve the true and living God who will reward you with eternal life, with goodness and honor, and teaches you the way of truth, justice and righteousness.

You want to make sure you and your family live in peace and goodness and righteousness.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is our best guarantee that His promises of eternal life is definite, sure and will be done!

 

In the message of Luke, Jesus was setting forth conditions to be His disciples.

We need to know what kind of disciples Jesus is making us to be.

Disciple of the love of God …

Disciple of truth and righteousness

Disciples of good deeds

And most important … disciples to receive eternal life from Jesus!

 

Jesus teaching and commandments is consistent with His character and mission to save us and give us the gift of eternal life.

If Jesus demanded repentance from sin, preached against evilness and wickedness, why do you think Jesus would preached such difficult message in Luke 14:26?

If you have a friend who asked you to join him to commit a crime, will you agree and go along with it? Even if you feel circumstances pushed you towards it?

If you have a family member who put you under pressure to do things that are morally wrong and against ethical values, would you do it? Especially with regards to actions and behaviors that will impact community living in a negative and destructive way – will you do it?

We should not be naïve and we should not be ignorant, that such things do happen in society and sometimes we feel caught in-between.

Sometimes we have friends and family who strayed to wrong motive. And we want to help them, show them the love of Jesus, and put them back on the right path.

 

** Jesus have provided us a better peaceful way to do it right –

 

1 Timothy 4:16 – Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

 

I cannot teach others the way to eternal life if I myself am not convinced Jesus can grant eternal life.

In the message of Luke 14:26, Jesus is challenging our own faith and conviction, first and foremost.

*Jesus is not teaching us to hate people, but is teaching us to stay on the path of righteousness, goodness and truth and to testify and bear witness of God’s truth by standing our ground.

When Jesus Himself was crucified on the cross, betrayed and mocked by false accusers, He was prepared to die for truth.

 

** Jesus allowed Himself to be killed for the truth of the Gospel.

 

After Jesus was resurrected, His disciple’s faiths were revived.

Jesus death and resurrection is our best testimony that God is true and faithful.

Only Jesus can give us the gift of eternal life and we want to share that with our family and friends. But we cannot do it if we ourselves are not convinced about the promises of God.

 

In-His-Service

David Z