“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:37-39
Jesus has been healing people, teaching the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, refuting the claims of the religious elite (who said that He was doing the miraculous by Satan’s power) and sending out His disciples to do the same kind of ministry. He makes it clear to them that there will be trouble and persecution for them. People will hate them because of Him.
It’s not what you’d think it would be. If you love Jesus and are doing His work… if you are serving the King of Heaven you’d think that all would be well. Not so for the disciples in Matthew 10 and not so for Jesus’ disciples since then. Never has it been easy to follow and serve Jesus in this world.
“But who is this man that the winds and the waves obey Him!?” Matthew 8:27
Jesus is worthy of our lives and devotion. Because of who He is and what He has done, it has been seen throughout history that people have suffered and given their energy for His Kingdom. People have given their lives for Christ. He is worthy! And Jesus knew this. He tells His disciples that unless He was #1 in their lives and heart’s devotion, they would not be worthy of Him. Jesus does not take 2nd place.
So disciples lose whatever their life had been or might have become for this Messiah. The great and powerful paradox of following Jesus is that if you lose your life for Him, you’ll find life. You have to lose it to find it, which goes against most everything within us! We desperately pursue our lives… and if we find them Jesus says we’ll actually lose them. If we keep our lives and don’t hand them over for Christ’s sake, we’ll lose them.
Losing your life feels like, well… losing. Even with Jesus’ promise of abundant life, it still feels like loss. Why do we suffer this? Because Jesus is worthy.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Lord Jesus, You are worthy of my life and heart’s devotion. I live for You today.