This Sunday (Sep 25) we come to the last passage of Luke before our next reflection service (Oct 2). After that we will be breaking for a five week series called GATHER where we will consider five reasons God calls us to gather regularly as a local church (more detail on this to come in a future Sermon Prep). Then we will head into the Advent season and return to the Gospel of Luke at the beginning of the new year.
Last Sunday, Rob Lister helped us see from Jesus’ parable that an open invitation to enter His kingdom and enjoy the future banquet of eternal life with Him has been extended to all who want to be at his banquet and know they don’t deserve to be there. Jesus wants his banquet to be filled!
This Sunday, as great crowds are following Jesus, He makes this strong and sobering statement.
“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 14:26)
This is one of those, “Wait, what did He just say?” moments in the Gospel of Luke and I appreciate what pastor Dale Ralph Davis says about it.
“Many assume this verse is about discipleship, and it is – but not preeminently. It is not first of all a matter of discipleship but of Christology. Who gave Jesus the right to talk that way? Who does He think He is? He is saying that He must have the sole and supreme place of affection in your life. What sheer audacity! Don’t you see it? This is simply the first commandment (“You shall have no other gods before me” Exodus 20:3) in different language. This verse is as blatant a claim to deity as John 8:58. No one but deity has the right to demand such ultimate loyalty from us. And Jesus does so. If I really hear this claim, I will be on my face before Him (Luke 14-24: On the Road to Jerusalem, Dale Ralph Davis).”
We gather each week to remind one another of this, to help one another keep Jesus on his rightful throne in our hearts, and to stay on our faces before Him, “that in everything He might be preeminent (Colossians 1:18).” And when we remember the gentle and lowly heart of our Savior, being on our faces before Him as the preeminent One is the best place to be and following Him will be worth whatever the cost.
Erik Thoennes will be preaching Luke 14:25-35 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you take some time this week to read and reflect on this section of Luke and to pray for each as they prepare?
See you Sunday, Grace. Let’s come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
All Things Together by Andrew Peterson
He’s the head of the body, the church
The firstborn from the dead
So in everything, He is the head