Week 4: Wednesday

Read: Luke 14v25–33 

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

Meditate: This is another instance where Jesus says some terribly harsh things. Hating your family, giving up your possessions, carrying around your own instrument of torture - what on earth is he talking about!? 

Jesus has been announcing God’s new way of running things. For Jesus’ people, ancient Israel, this meant a fundamental change in how they identified themselves; family and land.

Israel had been identified as Abraham’s family, a single ethnic unit. And they were also identified as the people who lived in a special ‘promised’ land. Family and possessions: the two things Jesus now says you have to give up. God’s people are being redefined. These identity markers don’t matter anymore. During this Lenten season it is helpful to ponder - where am I finding my identity?

Pray: Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, used to pray this prayer:

Lord, teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve you as you deserve:
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and to ask for no reward,
Save that of knowing that I do your will. 

Engage: Fast from the radio or music while in the car