Luke’s gospel chapter fourteen as we continue our journey through the Bible.
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him (14:1).
This is the third time that Luke tells us that Jesus went to eat at the house of a Pharisee. We do know that this man had invited Jesus, verse twelve, “Then said Jesus also unto him that had invited Him, when you make a dinner or supper.” So Jesus had been invited by the Pharisee. The seventh chapter, He was invited by a Pharisee by the name of Simon to come and eat and always it seems like the purpose was sort of just critical. To some way find fault with Jesus. And in the seventh chapter, when Jesus was eating at the house of Simon the Pharisee, the woman came with the alabaster box of ointment and you remember, she washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair and then put the perfume on His feet. And Simon the Pharisee said, Oh yes, this man if He knew really all things, if He were the Messiah and all, He would know that this woman was a very wicked woman and He wouldn’t allow her to touch Him. And so he was critical of Jesus. And of course, Jesus answered the criticism of Simon the Pharisee in chapter seven.
Chapter eleven where Jesus was invited again by the Pharisees to eat, and of course, Jesus just loved to eat with people and He didn’t care, Pharisees or not, if you had dinner He was ready to come. And so in the eleventh chapter as He was eating with the Pharisees, this one ended up in a really Donny Brook (???). It ended up with charges and accusations and Jesus really laid one on them. And so it ended up in quite a controversy.
So this is the third time now in Luke’s gospel where Jesus is invited to a dinner or to a feast by the Pharisees. This seems to be a deliberate set up.
And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy (14:2).
In other words, they set Jesus in such a place that this fellow was right in front of Him with the dropsy. The dropsy was a fatal type of disease, it was sort of an edema, it was where the capillaries sort of break and the fluid, the serum builds up inside of the skin and causes a great swelling of the skin and a sagging. Very obvious and very fatal. And so they set this fellow there where Jesus would see him because it was the sabbath day. And they were wanting to see if Jesus would heal him on the sabbath day. Fellow was obviously in great need. Will Jesus heal him on the sabbath day?
So Jesus answering (14:3)
It doesn’t say that anybody asked any question but He was answering the question that was in their mind. In their mind, they were wondering, Will He heal this fellow? And of course, they were watching Him, ready to accuse Him. “So Jesus answering,”
spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, and He said, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day (14:3)?
According to their interpretation of the law, it was not lawful. They had developed the tradition in the interpreting of the law that you could do nothing towards the healing of a person on the sabbath day. You could take whatever means were necessary to prevent death. That is, if a person were bleeding to death, you could apply a tourniquet. But you couldn’t apply any suave or any ointment or anything until the sabbath day was over. Nothing towards the healing. So Jesus asked them, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?”
It would be extremely difficult to see a man dying there and to say, No, it isn’t lawful. And so, they didn’t answer Him.
They held their peace. And so he took the man, and He healed him, and He let him go; And then again, He answered them (14:4,5),
They were ready, their accusations in their mind. He has violated the sabbath.
And He said, Which of you that has a donkey or an ox that is fallen into a pit [or in a well] (14:5),
Some of the translations or some of the older manuscripts say, Which of you having a son? In Matthew’s gospel, in a similar situation, Jesus said, Which of you having a sheep or an ox? But which of you who has a son or an ox, falls in a pit or in a well on the sabbath day, He said,
would you pull him out on the sabbath day (14:5)?
If your son had fallen down a well, it was a sabbath day, would you say, Hang on, son, keep swimming, soon as the sun goes down we’ll let a rope down and get you out of there. We’ll pull you up. And so it became quite obvious how ludicrous that was their position.
Here is a person who is in need. If you would do something for an animal, shouldn’t you do something for a human being? And so here is a man dying, obviously in great need, should he not be healed on the sabbath day? And Jesus put their whole tradition in the light of its folly. How ridiculous was their interpretation of the sabbath day law.
Of course, how ridiculous is a lot of their interpretation of the law today? Even a lot of their laws of, the kosher laws concerning what you can eat. So that they are very, very strict. And even the non-religious Jews are very strict in keeping kosher. They will not eat meat with dairy products at a meal. They’re very strict about this.
We were in a café and this old man pulled out a meat sandwich but it was a dairy café and you should have. I thought the place was just going to explode. They started screaming and yelling. We didn’t realize what was going on at first. Then we realized this fellow had pulled out a meat sandwich and oh, it just, the place exploded. They actually many times, the Orthodox will even use different plates and different pots and all for the dinners with meat and those that are dairy dinners. They are so exacting. And even they won’t eat turkey with dairy products. Any kind of meat with dairy products. Why? Because the law said you’re not to boil a goat in its mother’s milk.
I don’t know that turkeys even have milk. But because of that law, they won’t mix dairy products with meat products because you see, the milk that you drink, though it may have come from a cow, they don’t want it to even mix, boil in your stomach or whatever with the lamb or with the turkey or whatever meat you might be eating. So you can see that they’ve carried it far more than what the actual law said. And they’ve made a tradition out of it and it actually becomes ridiculous because turkeys don’t give milk. So it just. And so with this.
The law that you’re not to heal on the sabbath day. You’re not to do any kind of work. If there’s an emergency, if your son or if your sheep or if your ox should fall in a pit, in the well or in a ditch, won’t you pull him out on the sabbath day?
Again they could not answer him regarding these things. So then He put forth a parable unto them (14:6,7)
This parable was prompted because He watched how that those who were invited to this feast were positioning themselves to sit at the places of honor. Sit at the higher table or the more honorable table. Sitting in the upper rooms at the feast. And He watched as they were vying for these places of honor. And so “He put forth this parable,”
because they were picking out the chief rooms; and He said unto them, When you are bidden any of you to a wedding, don’t sit in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than you is invited by the host; And he that invited you and him will come and say to you, Give this man your place; and you will begin with shame to take the lowest room (14:7-9).
How embarrassing. You sit at the table of honor. You sort of position yourself there and then here comes in a guest of honor, the governor. And they come up to you and they say, Sorry, you’re not supposed to be at this table. Don’t you know that it would be very embarrassing to walk across the crowd to the lower table. So Jesus is saying, Don’t pick the highest place. They were doing that. He was observing them as they were doing that.
But when you are bidden, sit down in the lowest room; so that when he who bids you comes, he may say unto you, Friend, come on up higher: then you shall have the worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee (14:10).
They see you being exalted. They see you being brought to a higher place. And then He gives the principle. Always you want to look in the scriptures for the basic principle that is being taught. And in this little vignette, the basic principle that’s being taught is this.
For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (14:11).
This is something that is taught throughout the scriptures. “God resisteth the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:10). Paul tells us that “Let nothing be done through vain glory; but in lowliness of mind esteem others better than yourself” (Philippians 2:3). John wrote about a fellow by the name of Diotrephes. He said he didn’t receive us because he loves the preeminence. And it’s always sad to see those people who love the preeminence, that are constantly exalting themselves.
As far as the world is concerned, this is opposite of the worldly philosophy that is to be aggressive, be a go-getter, the man who goes after it is the man who gets it. And they are applauding that person who is aggressive. But Jesus says that if you exalt yourself, you’re going to be abased. And over and over throughout history, and even in the present hour, we can see where this truth has been manifested in so many lives, in the lives of politicians, in the lives of financiers, in the lives of ministers, in the lives of sports heroes. How many who have exalted themselves have ended up being abased.
They were looking to accuse Jesus. They had set Him up for this fellow with the dropsy. And now Jesus takes them on. First of all, He takes on these guests. These other guests that were invited for their attitude of looking for the highest place. Sort of trying to get in to the places of prominence and honor.
But then He took on the Chief Pharisee that invited Him. He then turned His attention to him.
He said unto him who had bid Him or invited Him, When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, neither your family, nor the rich neighbours; lest they also bid you to come again to their place, and you are rewarded, a recompense is made to you. But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just (14:12-14).
The idea is laying up treasures in heaven. Thinking concerning the eternal kingdom. Don’t make great feasts and all and then for your own benefit. That you might gain from it, that you in turn might be a part of the social set and invitation then be given to you and recompense made. No reward in that. That may be good business, it may be social kind of advancement, but it isn’t spiritual advancement. When you make a feast, go out and invite the poor, the halt, the maim, the blind: and then you will have a heavenly reward for that.
So one of those who were standing there in the crowd, now always there were the invited guests but whenever a famous Rabbi was invited to eat, the doors were always open and the neighbors could come in too. They would stand around. They couldn’t recline at the tables and eat but they could stand around and listen to the wisdom of the Rabbi. And so someone who was there, just listening in on what Jesus had said, as He rebuked the host because of the guest list, He said,
One of those that stood by or sat at meat with them heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God (14:15).
He got the message and he realized that the kingdom of God, how blessed it will be for those who will eat bread then.
So He said unto him (14:16),
He responded to this man. This man has caught the vision. And so He responds unto him with a parable and He said,
There was a certain man who made a great supper, and he invited many: And he sent out his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, Come; for all things are now ready (14:16,17).
Dinner’s on the table. Come on.
And they all with one consent began to make excuse (14:18).
Benjamin Franklin said, “A man who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” And many times there’s a reason for not doing things but often there’s only an excuse. It’s not a reason. Just an excuse. And surely these are excuses. Listen to them, they are lame excuses.
One said, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it: I pray thee have me excused (14:18).
Who buys property without seeing it? Who would buy a lot without seeing it? I bought a piece of ground, I’ve got to go and see it. Have me excused.
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I need to prove them: I pray thee have me excused (14:19).
Again, who buys oxen without first of all examining it. Would you buy a used car without first of all driving it around the block? It’s like saying, I bought this car and I’ve got to go and see if it runs. It’s a lame excuse. The next one. Common.
I have married a wife (14:20),
That one goes way back, doesn’t it? In the garden of Eden when God said, Adam, what have you done? That woman You gave to be my wife. I’ve married a wife.
and therefore I cannot come (14:20).
She won’t let me.
So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house was angry (14:21),
He realized that these were just lame excuses. They weren’t reasons, they were just. He realized that people just didn’t want to come. And so he was angry.
He said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and in the lanes of the city, and bring hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind (14:21).
Earlier, these are the kind of people that Jesus said that this Pharisee should invite to his feast, the poor, the lame, the halt, the blind. So now the master is saying to his servant, You go out in the streets and bring in the poor and the lame and the halt and the blind.
And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and still there is more room. And so the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (14:22,23).
And then He made application to the parable.
For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper (14:24).
The parable is concerning, of course, the marriage feast of the Lamb. And how that those that were bidden, the Jewish nation to whom the Gospel was first given, how they have rejected, how they have offered their excuses for not receiving Him as the Messiah. And so how that through the rejection of the Jews, the Gospel was then presented to the Gentiles. As the servant went out to the highways and the hedges and compelled anyone, Come on in.
Paul the apostle tells us, that we as wild olive branches were grafted into the tree, the natural branch was cut off that we might be grafted in. We have this glorious privilege as Gentiles of being a part of the body of Christ invited to the feast, invited to the glorious. He talked about the feast in the kingdom of heaven. And so this is that feast. “Blessed are they who will eat bread in the kingdom of God.” This is a parable that is referenced to that feast that shall take place in the kingdom of God often called the marriage supper of the Lamb. Blessed is he.
In Revelation 19:9, it declares, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
So as Jesus then left the house of the Pharisee, He first of all addressed Himself to the invited guests who were trying to get the best seats. He then addressed Himself to the host because of his guest list. And then He answered the one person who seemed to catch the message, saying, “Blessed is the one who eats bread in the kingdom of God.” Now He leaves the feast.
And a great multitude was with him (14:25):
They began to follow Him. Wherever Jesus would go, there would be multitudes that would follow Him. And as He left the house, the multitude was there waiting and they began to follow Him.
and he turned to the multitude [the multitude that would follow Him], and He said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple (14:25,26).
In three places here, Jesus is going to talk about “he cannot be my disciple.” Talking about the cost of discipleship. Jesus never said it would be an easy thing to be His disciple. In fact, He often encouraged people to count the cost. When one fellow said, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. He said, “The foxes have their holes, the birds of the air have their nests; the Son of man doesn’t have any place to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). You really want to follow Me? He never said it was going to be easy.
This is an extremely difficult passage and it is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. Because our word love and hate are opposite extremes of one another. In the eastern mind and thought, they are comparative words, not opposite words. Jesus told us that we are to love our enemies. He told us that we are to love one another, even as He loves us. The Bible tells us husbands that we’re to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. So obviously, Jesus is not saying to follow Him you’ve got to hate your mother and your father, your sisters, your brothers, family members, your children and your own life also.
What He is saying is that your love for Him must exceed your love for your mother or for your father or your wife or your children or your brothers or your sisters. Your love for Him must be supreme. As in the law, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, strength; and then thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37,39). But your love for Him has to be first, it has to be supreme so that if your love for Him brings you at odds. If your parents make it a thing of it’s your love for Jesus or your love for us, then you’ve got to choose to love Jesus. If it comes to that kind of a decision, and if your wife says I’m not going to live with you any longer if you’re going to be a Christian and follow these things, then your love for Jesus has to exceed your love for your wife. Or if your husband says I can’t stand that religious stuff anymore and if you keep on that, I’m leaving. You’ve got to let him leave. Paul said, “If a believing wife has an unbelieving husband, not content to remain with her, then let him depart. She’s not under bondage” (1 Corinthians 7:15).
And so Jesus is saying that your love for Him has to be supreme, it has to exceed your love for your mother, your father, your children, your wife, your family, brother, sister, whatever. Your love for Him has to be first and paramount.
It is a glorious thing when the whole family loves the Lord. What a special bond that is when the family is united in their love for the Lord. When the family together seeks the Lord. And yet, that is not always the case. And there have been many cases where a person had to choose a love for Jesus over the love for the family, specially in the Jewish home where to believe in Jesus, many times, created such a breech that the family would even have a funeral service and consider you dead. Seeing you on the street they would not speak to you. They would look right past you. They considered you as dead because you dared to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. That still happens today in some Orthodox Jewish homes. But in those cases, your love for the Lord must exceed even your love for the family and if it doesn’t exceed your love for the family, you cannot be His disciple.
In Deuteronomy under the law, chapter thirteen beginning with verse six, “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, which is your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, or near unto you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall your eye pity him, and neither shalt you spare” (Deuteronomy 13:6-8).
Deuteronomy 21:15, “If a man have two wives, [this is the idea of hate now] one is loved, and the other is hated.” It doesn’t mean that he really hates his wife but he loved one more than the other. That was the case you remember with Elkanah and Hannah. He had two wives. He obviously loved Hannah better than the other wife. And so the other wife realizing that her husband loved Hannah more, really gave Hannah a bad time. Constantly needling her because Hannah couldn’t have children and the other wife could have children. And so she was just making life miserable for Hannah.
In the case of Jacob, you remember he was in love with Rachel. Worked seven years and the father pulled the switcharoo and gave him the oldest sister Leah, who he really wasn’t interested in but he was sort of trapped and so he worked another seven years for Rachel. And he loved Rachel more than Leah and it created the problem because Leah realized that his first love was towards Rachel. So the idea was loving one and hating the other. But in reality he didn’t hate Leah, but he just didn’t love her as much as he loved Rachel.
So the Lord isn’t saying you got to hate your family, it’s just you got to love Him more than your family. Comparative. In Matthew, Jesus did make the comparison, He said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). So there the comparative is demonstrated or shown, declared. Don’t feel, to be a disciple of Jesus I got to hate now my wife and my kids and everybody else. Not so. It’s just that you have to love the Lord more than all other relationships. And then He declared,
And whosoever doth not bear his cross (14:27),
Now He says we’re to love Him more than we love ourselves. That’s really loving a lot, isn’t it? “And whosoever does not bear his cross,”
and come after me, shall not be my disciple (14:27).
There had been some ridiculous things said concerning this idea of bearing a cross. I have a mother-in-law who’s just really a nag. And I really don’t, she’s dead and she’s sweet and I loved her. But here’s a fellow saying, I have a mother-in-law and she’s just really a beast. I hated everytime I have to go to her house. But I guess that’s just the cross I have to bear. No, no, no, no, no. That’s not the cross. But we often, we say, I got this gout and I guess that’s just the cross I have to bear or something like that and we say, That’s the cross.
No, in the life of Jesus, the cross represented a total submission to the will of the Father. In the garden of Gethsemane when facing the cross, and Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not what I will, but Thy will be done” (Matthew 26:39). That’s the cross. The cross is the complete surrendering of yourself to the will of God.
And so if you’re not willing to fully surrender yourself to the will of God, that might involve suffering, it might involve pain, then you cannot be His disciple. It takes a love for Him that is paramount of all loves in your life. It takes a submission unto His will to be His disciple. And then Jesus again gives them a parable and He said,
Which of you, intending to build a tower (14:28),
Most of the people lived within the walled city. But they had their fields out in the countryside. And during the summer season, they would move out of their city house and live in their vineyards or in their orchards out in the countryside. And they would build towers in their vineyard. The towers had two purposes; one, they lived in the tower. But secondly, from the tower they could watch their vineyard to make sure that as the fruit was getting ripe, that no one would come in and steal their fruit. So the purpose of the tower was that of shelter and that of observation. And even today, over there in that land, you can see how the fields have been marked off by the rock walls and you can see the towers that are there in the fields. Even to the present day, some of these towers are still used. So if a man is going to build a tower. He said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower,”
You don’t sit down first, and you count the cost (14:28),
In other words, you say, Boy, am I able to afford this?
whether you have sufficient money to finish it (14:28)?
The first thing in planning is the financing. Do I have the money to do it?
This situation you’ve seen in the papers, this house in Irvine where fellow bought this house and he didn’t have money to finish it and so the city was going to bulldoze it down but some fellow came through yesterday and loaned him the $65,000 he needs. But that was a mistake he made. He didn’t sit down to find out whether or not. And boy, he’s gone through real trial with the city of Irvine and so forth because he didn’t have enough to finish this tower that he built there in his neighborhood.
Jesus said the wise person sits down, he first of all figures out what it’s going to cost and do I have enough money to finish this project?
Lest haply [not happily, haply, by chance], after he has laid the foundation, he is not able to finish it, and so everybody that goes by mocked him (14:29),
As happened to this fellow. He didn’t have the money to finish it and so everybody just started snickering over him. Look at that monstrosity, wires hanging all over the place and it isn’t up to code.
They say, This man began to build, but he was not able to finish (14:30).
Unfinished towers. Or, same principle,
What king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he is able with his ten thousand to meet him who is coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends ambassadors, and desires for conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (14:31-33).
So the third requirement for discipleship is forsaking all that you have to be His disciple. In other words, your love for Him has to not only exceed your love for your family but your love for your possessions.
And then Jesus finished off by saying,
Salt is good: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (14:34,35).
If the salt has lost its savour, its tang, its saltiness, it’s not good for seasoning. Salt in those days was used as a seasoning but it was also used as a preservative. In Matthew in the sermon on the mount, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” And then again, “If the salt has lost its savour, it’s good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden under the foot of men” (Matthew 5:13). Looking at salt, first of all, as a preservative Jesus is declaring that the church should be a preserving influence in the community. Meat not refrigerated begins to rot very quickly after being butchered. The salt killed the surface bacteria and thus preserved the meat. The world is a rotten place. The church is to be a preserving influence in the world to keep it from rotting.
But then salt is a seasoning. There are lot of foods that are very flat and insipid without salt. Growing up as a boy, I grew up on whole grain cereals. No Post-Toasties, boxed cereal, sugary junk that they feed kids today. Old fashioned oats. Takes longer to cook but can’t beat their flavor, texture. Whole wheat cereals and whole grain cereal. And every once in a while my mother would forget to put the salt in the boiling water before she added the oats. And so we would get a bowl of oats without any salt. And it was just flat. Now I love oats but oats without salt are just flat. And we’d put extra sugar on them to just liven it up but even with the extra sugar it’s still flat. Mashed potatoes without salt. Just flat. The salt does something for it. It gives it the real zing, a taste to it, it makes it good, it makes it pleasant to eat. It adds so much.
As a Christian, you should be adding flavor to the world. It’s a rather flat world. But your influence should be that of enhancing the world in which you live. But then I’ve noticed one third quality about salt and that is, you get a lot of salty things and what does it do? It creates a thirst. After you’ve eaten a bag of potato chips, you’re ready for something to drink. You get thirsty. Salt creates a thirst. And thus, you as a Christian should be creating a thirst in others to know the Lord.
So, if the salt isn’t salty, if it’s lost its tang, not good for seasoning. In fact, it’s really not good for. “It’s not fit,” Jesus said, “for land, nor even for the dunghill.” But men just cast it out.
Your life as a Christian has to have some zest, some tang to it or really, it’s not worth anything, just cast out. Notice how where the church has lost its savory influence in the world, how that the world has become so rotten because the church is not a preserving influence. It has lost its savour. It has become another political horse, lost its savour and how that it’s really, the church has been crushed. Cast out, trodden under the foot of men.
So in a sense, Jesus is giving an ultimatum. Either accomplish the purpose for which you are a disciple, you are a follower of His, or else, you be cast out. You’re not really doing your job. You’re not worth anything.
Next week we will move on ahead into chapter fifteen.
Father, we thank You for the exhortations given to us by our Lord. And as we consider, Lord, these requirements for discipleship—loving You supremely, loving You more than anything else, any other relationship, submitting ourselves, Lord, fully to Your will, and also, Lord, loving You more than our possessions, more than our lives, Lord, may we indeed become Your disciples. And with this kind of commitment, Lord, may we become a savory influence in the world, a preserving influence. May our lives, Lord, add flavor and zest. Help us, Lord, to be what You want us to be. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
It is interesting how that the Bible tells us concerning the disciples when they were called by Jesus, Peter, James, John, Andrew, that they left all, they forsook all and followed Him. Matthew left the receipt of custom to follow Jesus. They left houses, homes, jobs. They put Jesus first. They loved Him more than they loved their own lives.
You remember Paul the apostle when he was on his way to Jerusalem and he was staying with Philip in his home in Caesarea, and how this prophet from the church in Jerusalem by the name of Agabus came down to the house of Philip and he took Paul’s girdle and he tied himself up with Paul’s girdle and he said, So is the man who owns this girdle to be bound when he goes to Jerusalem. And Philip and all of those in his house began to cry and say, Paul, don’t go to Jerusalem, don’t go. Paul says, What do you mean by all these tears? You think I’m afraid of being bound? I’m ready to die for Jesus Christ. (Acts 21:10-13)
He loved the Lord more than his own life. And that’s what Jesus is asking us to do. Love Him supremely, more than any other relationship. More than ourselves. More than our possessions. Submit ourselves unto the will of God and to follow Him. It’s a challenge. Not an easy thing, it’s a challenge. But oh how blessed are those who will eat bread in the kingdom of God.
May the Lord be with you, and may the Lord bless you, and may we consider these challenges of Jesus. And if there is something in your life that has gained ascendancy, something that has become more important to you than Jesus, a love, a relationship or whatever, maybe the Lord will call you to a test. Are you willing to give that up to follow Him? Are you willing to love Him more than any other relationship? Are you willing to give all to follow Christ? And may we indeed follow Him this week.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8058