and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
The righteous are those who have been made right with God by receiving, through faith, the free gift of righteousness. See entry for Righteousness.
“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.
(a) Hate. To hate your father and mother means to put God first. “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37) In other words, if you are forced to choose who you will serve, put Jesus first. Jesus alone is to be our Master.
On another occasion Jesus said “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matt. 6:24). Jesus is making the same point. You can put God and money in the same position, so choose.
Jesus is hardly telling us to hate people (Matt 5:43–44). He does not want you to hate your parents but to honor them (Matt. 15:4). Nor are we to hate our wives (Eph. 5:28, 33). John who said “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him” (1 John 3:15). Sadly there have been some who justified their hatred of others by telling themselves they were putting God first. But you cannot follow Christ and hate others (1 John 4:20-21).
(b) My disciple. A disciple is literally a student. In context, it is a follower of Christ or a Christian.
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Carry his own cross; see entry for Luke 9:23.
“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
Calculate the cost means make up your mind. Don’t be a fence-sitter. Don’t be double-minded. Don’t be half-in and half-out. See entry for Luke 14:33.
“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
All his own possessions. To receive new life, you have to let go of your old one.
Christianity is a divine exchange, our life for his. We cannot follow Christ without renouncing our rights to everything. But look what we get in return. We give him our sinful selves and get him and everything besides. We give up that which we couldn’t keep and get that which we can never lose.
Jesus is not selling seats in his discipleship class. Everything in the kingdom comes by grace alone. “Freely you have received.” But we will never receive what God wants to give us without letting go of what we have.
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