Jesus Describes a Worthy Follower

In Matthew 10:37-38, Jesus says, “37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

It is clear from this passage that Jesus’ criteria for determining our worthiness is rooted in our prioritization of Him and His principles. Jesus goes to the heart of who we love the most in this world. We love our parents and our children the most. Well, at least, most of us do. Jesus says that we can’t put our parents or our children before Him. NOTE: He did not say that we should not highly value them, but He DID SAY if one loves them more than Him that he is not worthy of Him. The operative word is love which in the Greek is phileōDo you love anyone more than you love Jesus? We can assess our love by obedience and the amount of time and resources that we commit to either. Judge for yourself; however, God has already told you where He stands with you.

The second criteria is taking up your cross. The parallel drawn is of Christ and His cross. The implication lies far beyond merely bearing some burden or enduring some hardship even for a long time. It extends to being obedient in the day-to-day rudiments of life and even unto the end of life itself. Our entire concept of self must be established in our identity in Christ. This means that we must willingly accept the consequences of being identified with Him. For almost all of us in these United States of America, we have yet to be tested to the point of physical and financial harm for identifying with Christ, but I am sure greater consequences are on the way. When right and wrong are argued, ultimately someone’s definition of right will supersede the other’s.

Take the issue of heterosexual marriage for example. For years when the vast majority of people in this country valued the Word of God, there was never a challenge as to the definition of marriage. I am in no way condoning mistreatment of people; however, I am also not aligning human sexual preferences with God established differences like race. God never condemns a race for race sake. It always is connected with rejecting Him. Likewise, those that reject His ways reject Him. John 3:36 tells us “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” John 12:48

Whether it is a person or a position philosophically, Jesus establishes the criteria for determining whether one is worthy of Him. You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to agree with Jesus, but you will be held accountable for not following Jesus. God’s wrath will remain on you. Choose wisely whom you will follow.


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