“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
This passage reminds me that discipleship has a cost and the cost is our life. In the Old Testament the Lord was sometimes characterized as a jealous God. In these few sentences Jesus reinforces that idea and tells us that God will not take a back seat to anything or anyone - not to family members and not even to ourselves. This is a hard message but a very biblical one because of the way that these things can become idols that interfere with our relationship to God.
When Jesus speaks about not being worthy of him he is declaring that he is God and as such is worthy of their, and our, lives. If he were not God then he would have no right to claim preeminence in their, and our, lives. He speaks as God when he speaks of losing our life for his sake. Only the Creator has this right. It is something that the disciples most likely remembered when they were imprisoned and lost their lives for Jesus sake. How can we live differently? How can our message be anything less.
I am humbled Lord when I think of all that have literally lost their lives for your sake. I am unworthy because I have not fully embraced my cross. Help me today Lord to embrace and carry my cross. You are worthy Lord Jesus because you are God.