The one question we must ponder over in our relationship with Jesus is what our choice is, Jesus our first choice or the last. Depending on this choice we will orient and live our lives. Our response to Jesus’ call to take up our cross and follow him will depend on this our
To be a follower, which is the same as a disciple, is to make Christ our vocation, which is a full time engagement. This proposition should not frighten us or deter us from committing. Once we take the decision to make Jesus our first choice there is something for Jesus to reciprocate to us, he takes over us, our concerns, anxieties, our yesterdays, today’s and tomorrows. We are offered a ‘care-free life’. This is because when we make our total commitment to him, that is, taking over his business and becoming his full time true stewards, we become his concern and he takes over us and our businesses, which include our life, family, children, work, finance, future, even our life after.
Total commitment to Jesus means giving the reins of our life to him and believing fully that he has taken over us and that we are safe forever, and never trying to regain the reins into our hands! It is a big decision.
When we do this, following Jesus takes precedence in all our priorities. That is what Jesus means when he tells us to ‘hate’ father, mother, spouse and children, brother and sister and even our very life. Hate here means to abandon all these into the hands of God that he may take care of them, and be carefree that God may work upon us and we may work with God.
It doesn’t even mean stopping to do our regular work and profession, throw away our wealth and possessions, etc. It doesn’t tell us to stop visiting or caring for our parents and family. Jesus just tells us that our heart and mind be set on him and on his commandment of love, and that the righteousness of his kingdom be our pursuit.
All that we have ‘abandoned’ will be taken over and cared for by God. That becomes his business, and that is his business. Let us be in his business and he will take care of all our so called businesses and even our ‘busy-ness’. In our relationship with God there are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, it is always just ‘yes’. Then we will not be one among the crowds that travel with Jesus but a disciple in his footsteps!