A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
We don’t really think about the cost of following Jesus to often. We think it’s just a walk up to the altar followed by a simple prayer and then try to live a better life afterwards.
Jesus shows us in this scripture that it’s a little more than that.
This scripture has always bothered me. Hate your mother and father, wives, children and so on and so forth. But he isn’t saying you must hate them to follow me. He is saying that if you following me causes problems with the unbelievers in your family you should be willing to pay the cost. Following Christ isn’t some half-hearted decision we make based on an emotion we have after a church service, it’s something to take seriously. So serious to the point where if it causes your mother and father, brothers and sisters, wives or husbands, sons or daughters to hate you. That you should forsake your family to follow him.
The people Jesus was speaking to, knew what it meant to carry a cross, the Romans forced those condemned to death to carry their cross, not to add insult to injury. But to show submission to the roman government. To show they were guilty of the charges brought against them and to show that they are willing to pay the price for their crimes.
This was not only a picture of submission to the leaders of Rome it was to show the onlookers that they were being submissive to the Roman Empire.
Really brings into light why Jesus tells us to carry our cross daily, to show submission to him, to realize that we are sinners, and to show the onlookers that we know we are imperfect but are trying our best to imitate Jesus.
Imitating Jesus may end up closing some relationships
Are you willing to pay the cost?