An Unrivaled Love!

Love of Jesus

(Matthew 10:37)

  • “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

Jesus was utterly aware of the fact that He was the Son of God and the Savior of the world. He knew that our eternal salvation depends on Him and our relationship with Him (John 14:6). He also knew that we must have absolute, uncompromising loyalty to Him if we would be His true disciples and walk worthy of Him (Mark 8:34-38). Yet Jesus was very conscious of the fact that other people would compete for our devotion. Friends, religious leaders, and family members would seek to draw us away from our commitment to Him and His way of life. Even the natural family bonds may draw away our hearts from a love for Jesus!

In the context of the passage above, Jesus says that we will be “hated by all” because of our devotion to Him (Matt. 10:22). We will face persecution because of Him (v. 23). We must confess Him before other people and never deny Him if we expect Jesus to confess us before the Father (vv. 32-33). He then shows the extent of the persecution we must endure for Him. He came to bring a “sword” or “division” on earth rather than peace on earth (v. 34; cf. Luke 12:51-53). He goes so far as to warn, “A man’s enemies will be the members of his household” (v. 36). We like to think of the ideal—happy, united, and peaceful families, all in love with Christ and serving Him wholeheartedly. This may sometimes be found. However, the general rule is that families will be divided! One or two members may choose Christ while the remaining members reject the Lord and continue in their sin and unbelief (cf. vv. 21,35; Mark 13:12-13; Luke 21:16-17).

Christ then shows that we cannot compromise in our relationship. We cannot sit on the fence. We cannot love unbelieving family members and thereby relegate Jesus to second place in our life. He says that if we love “father or mother” more than Him, we are unworthy of Him. If we love a dear “son or daughter” more than Him, we are unworthy of Him (v. 37). Other relationships are also in view. If we love a wife or a husband more than we love Jesus, we are unworthy of Christ. If any other family member means more to us than does Jesus, if we would rather please a family member than please Jesus, if we would chose to yield to or submit to a family member rather than obey the will of the Lord, then we are unworthy of Christ.

In order to reinforce His statement, Jesus says if we do not take up our cross (which may include the ill will, resentment, and opposition of a family member), and if we do not follow after Jesus (which means loving Him first and allowing Him to be supreme), then we are unworthy of Him (vv. 38-39).

How do you and I measure by this standard? When we are put to the test and must actually choose what we will do in a practical way, will we be true to Jesus—or will we choose an opposing family member? Are we willing to follow this radical requirement of our Lord? Are we willing to follow the One who bears the “sword” and divides families by His call to commitment? Will we love Jesus with this degree of unrivaled love?

Richard Hollerman

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