What makes a mature disciple?
Previously I wrote some thoughts about how we tend to build the church on little rocks, neglecting the big rock that Jesus intended. This leads to a lack of maturity in our relationship with Jesus. In the next few blog posts I will share some thoughts about what it is that makes a mature disciple.
A Mature Disciple Loves Jesus, MORE than anyone or anything.
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, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Jesus is not using the word “hate” in the same way Americans use it, but he using a figure of speech here. The nuance in speech is complex, but the implications are obvious. He expects us to exalt our relationship with him over any other meaningful relationship in our life. He becomes “primary” and everyone else gets leftovers. The gut reaction to this statement would be to sidestep and “redefine” what Jesus meant, or worse try and change what the Bible says because there are rivals warring for supremacy over the throne of our hearts, but our love for Jesus must rise beyond every one else.
Again, Jesus is not demanding that you literally hate your family. He is using hyperbole to illustrate the steep cost of following him.
He doesn’t just want us to love Him more than anyone, but also more than anything.
A rich person ran up to Jesus and asked “what must I do to inherit eternal life? As Jesus looked at him, he felt love for him and said, “You lack one thing. Go, sell whatever you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” –Mark 10:21
The rich will always be tempted to put money, stuff, wealth, and “treasure” before Jesus. But Jesus demands first place in relationships AND he demands first place in our wallet.
Question: Do you love Jesus more than anyone, and anything?