Today’s devotion from Matthew 10.Just after asking His disciples to pray for more workers in the harvest, Jesus commissions a few. As He prepares to send them, He has some words of warning. Following Him will be hard. They will face persecution that can only be overcome, not by thinking little of their trials, but more of their God. Fear Him, Jesus tells His disciples, not those who persecute you. Acknowledge who you are by acknowledging who I am. It is here that we find a curious statement. Jesus says, “The one who loves a father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; the one who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37, CSB) Jesus has a funny way of encouraging His followers.
As you and I read these words, we probably stumble a bit on them. I am very close with my parents. I love my father and my mother immensely. When I read these words, I wonder if I am up to the task. How can I not love my parents as much as possible? Then I consider my children. How can I give my children any less of my love than I can possibly give them?
That’s the point.
Jesus isn’t commanding us to not love our parents or to offer our children anything less than all we can offer. His emphasis is not on lessening our familial affections, but the contrary. His point is this: as much as I love my parents and my children, as great my affections are for them, my love for God has to be that much greater. It’s not about loving them less, but about loving Him more.