July 25, 2021

What is Our First Priority

Pastor KJ Kim

Luke 14: 25-26

Today’s passage tells us that we cannot be the disciples of Christ unless we hate our families, carry our crosses, and give up all our possessions.

If we really and carefully consider Jesus’s harder sayings and teachings in the gospel, I have to conclude that Jesus would not have made a popular pastor in the 21st century, especially to a local congregation in the US.

Why? Why did Jesus say all these disturbing things about hating our parents, our children, and our lives?

One possibility we may think of is that Jesus already knew what a hard road his family and his disciples had ahead of them.

In Jesus’s context, Christians were already being persecuted for following Jesus. So, it really was true that turning toward Jesus meant turning away from your family and pushing them into trouble whether they wanted to be there or not.

What today’s passage tells us is that Christians should check what our first priority is. Following Jesus means changing our first priority as we make everything else fall by the wayside.

As we ourselves reflect on this seemingly disturbing line in the Scripture, I invite us to consider these questions again - “What does it mean for each of us to follow Jesus these days? What transformation have we made so far in our faith journey?”

Isn’t it true that we may have a tendency to think of being a good Christian as just being good or becoming a stable citizen? Or isn’t it true that we may think of being a good church just as creating a safe and caring environment where people’s needs may be met?

What we are reminded of in today’s passage is that being a good Christin and a good church
demands us to follow a different way of life which Jesus has shown to us.

We name this discipleship. And it costs all that we have, all that we love, and all that we are.

Let’s keep checking what our first priority is.

Let’s keep being the transformer by transforming our way of life.

Amen.