Summary: Stations of the Cross, Pt. 2
THE WAY OF THE STUDENT (LUKE 14:25-33)
Upon entering a little country store, a stranger noticed a sign reading “Danger! Beware of Dog” posted on the glass door. Inside, he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor besides the cash register.
The stranger asked the store manager, “Is that the dog folks are supposed to beware of?” “Yep, that’s him,” he replied. The stranger couldn’t help but be amused. “That certainly doesn’t look like a dangerous dog to me. Why in the world would you post that sign?” “Because,” the owner replied, “before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him.”
Have you ever felt like the poor household dog? Old, sleepy and traumatized by outsiders, footsteps and boots?
Jesus had called us to be His disciples, to make a difference in the world, to be salt and light in society and to snatch lost people from the jaws of spiritual death, but, sadly, we have more resemble to sleeping dogs at rest than shepherd dogs at work. Today’s Christians have lost their bite, their legs and stomach for discipleship.
A disciple is a student of the Master - he represents Him with distinction, dedication and delight. The Master has challenged his students to forego the comfort of the family, the lure of sheltered living and the attraction of the world to join Him in the school of discipleship. Jesus used the word “disciples” three times in this passage to challenge all His followers to roll up their sleeves and join Him without regretting the journey or the loss.
Consider Your Priority
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. (Lk 14:25-26)
Luke 14:26 is very controversial due the critics’ assertion that it is anti-family - it pits children against parents, splits brothers and sisters apart and divides husbands and wives. The surest way for people to leave the church is for the pastor to expound passages like these. We have enough issues to divide the family today – money, politics and lack of time - and we certainly don’t need religion to drive the family further apart.
However, to understand this passage, we have to first understand what Jesus had to say about the duty of children. On two occasions, Jesus asserted that honoring parents is a command of God: to the rich young ruler (Lk 18:18-20, Mt 19:19) and to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law (Matt 15:1-4, Mark 7:5-10). The presence of the teachers of the law was crucial, since the teachers of the law were at the courtyard of the high priest, too (Mt 26:57, Mk 14:53) when three accusations brought against Jesus there were that he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days (Mt 26:61, Mk 14:58); that he was the Christ, the Son of God (Mt 26:63, Mk 14:61, Lk 22:67) and that he was the king of the Jews (Mt 27:11, Mk 15:2, Jn 18:33).
Note that when push came to shove, the teachers of the law did not accuse Jesus of transgressing against parents, a blame they would be most willing to place on him if they had evidence or charge against him, especially since they had no problem parsing or misinterpreting other things Jesus had said to large crowds.