They who love anything better than Christ are not worthy of him.
– Covenanter field Minister James Renwick, on the day of his martyrdom
Some try and say that this section of scripture is counterintuitive to the teachings of Christ. After all, didn’t Christ tell us that Love was the foundation of the two Greatest Commandments? This also flies in the face against everything society teaches, that it is all about me and only me.
EXACTLY!!! Note that Matthew does not record this (Greatest Commandments) until 12 chapters later but here is Jesus making the same point now. Here is what Jesus is saying and NOT saying:
Jesus says, to Love God above all others (Greatest Commandment)
Jesus Never says, Do Not Love your family or Neighbors (2nd Greatest Commandment)
Jesus Says, believers will have conflicts with pagan (unbelieving) family members and must choose to love Him (God) above them
Jesus says, it is a burden (Cross baring) to love and follow Him exclusively, one that all true believers willing do
Let us look at some examples of those who failed this test:
Adam loved Eve more and listened to her
Solomon loved his pagan wives more than God
King Ahab Jezebel, more than God
There are others of course but you get the idea. Anytime we put anything or anyone above God we are in fact committing a grievous SIN. Folks I have said it hundreds of times over the years “it’s never about us it’s always about Christ.”
Matthew 10:37.He who loveth father or mother As it is exceedingly harsh, and is contrary to natural feelings, to make enemies of those who ought to have been in closest alliance with us, so Christ now says that we cannot be his disciples on any other condition. He does not indeed enjoin us to lay aside human affections, or forbid us to discharge the duties of relationship, but only desires that all the mutual love which exists among men should be so regulated as to assign the highest rank to piety. Let the husband then love his wife, the father his son, and, on the other hand, let the son love his father, provided that the reverence which is due to Christ be not overpowered by human affection. For if even among men, in proportion to the closeness of the tie that mutually binds us, some have stronger claims than others, it is shameful that all should not be deemed inferior to Christ alone. And certainly we do not consider sufficiently, or with due gratitude, what it is to be a disciple of Christ, if the excellence of this rank be not sufficient to subdue all the affections of the flesh. The phrase employed by Luke is more harsh, if any man doth not hate his father and mother, but the meaning is the same, “If the love of ourselves hinder us from following Christ, we must resist it, courageously:” as Paul says, what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, (Philippians 3:7.)
Oh, gracious and merciful Father, may I never boast in my deeds, but always look to the cross as my source of righteousness. Through your cleansing and empowering Spirit, please help me to surrender my life, my heart, my sin, and my dreams to you. Help me to daily take up my cross, love you above all else, and my neighbor even more than myself. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
¹ edited from Heartlight