1 Kings 19:16, 19-21; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62
Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:60)
If you ever listen to popular love songs, you’ll find a lot of exaggeration. You hear lines like “I’d give the moon if it were mine to give.” “I’m gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky.” “My love is deeper than the deepest ocean.” But behind all of this fanciful imagery, there is something very real. Even if they are speaking only out of infatuation or love at first sight, these lovers are saying that they would do anything for their beloved.
That’s what Jesus is asking of his disciples here. He is looking for something much deeper than mere infatuation. He wants us to be as deeply in love with him as he is with us. The young man who asks to go home and bury his father is not wrong. But Jesus is trying to show him that anyone who experiences God’s radical, passionate love will become equally radical in response—to the point where everything else is secondary.
So when we read these words, we shouldn’t think of Jesus as a harsh, demanding taskmaster who is out to take away all we hold dear. Rather, he is a lover, wooing us with something more desirable than anything on this earth—himself. As God told Israel once, “I will espouse you to me forever … in right and in justice; in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity” (Hosea 2:21-22).
Today is a good day to ponder how deeply God loves you. He may not send you flowers or buy you diamond rings, but he delights in giving you even better and longer-lasting gifts. He has gone so far as to give you his very life—all so that he could be with you for all eternity. So in your prayer today, picture Jesus sitting next to you. See the love in his eyes, and know that he will never leave you. He has such wonderful plans for your life. How can you not want to follow him?
“Lord, I am captivated by your grace and mercy. Your love is beyond imagining! I surrender all to you, because your love is better than life!”~WAU