What is real discipleship? It is true that, by God’s grace, once we are ‘saved’, this gift of God cannot be taken away from us but that doesn’t mean that some of our actions can’t be fully secular in nature. Often, without realising it, many Christians are living an atheistic lifestyle and may even be engaging in idolatry on a regular basis. What then does it mean to be a real disciple? In the Gospel passage assigned for this week, Jesus doesn’t mix his words. Jesus cannot be accused of being dishonest about what it means to be a Christian disciple. In essence, he says that unless you devote your whole life and every aspect of it to God, you cannot be a disciple. Jesus goes on to spell out what this means in practice, “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine.” The book of Genesis is a book of beginnings which follows a family but even here there are family splits such as the time when Hagar and Ishmael are sent away. God’s purposes, however, are still fulfilled, through Isaac.
There is no such thing as a part-time Christian or a Christian on a zero-hours contract. C S Lewis noted that either Christianity is a lie and should be rejected as worthless, or it is true and, if true, it is so remarkable that it should absorb our every conscious moment. What is clear is that it cannot be only of partial interest and elicit only partial devotion. David captures the all-consuming love of God in his psalm, “Be merciful, O Lord, for I am calling on you CONSTANTLY. Give me happiness, O Lord, for my LIFE DEPENDS ON YOU. In the Epistle reading assigned to this week, the Apostle Paul notes the end of our previous life of sin. He writes, “We are NO LONGER SLAVES TO SIN….we are DEAD TO SIN and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.” Our entire past life is subjugated to our new life in Christ which fills every part of our being. This is real discipleship.
Old Testament reading for this week: Genesis 21:8-21
Gospel reading for this week: Matthew 10:24-39
Epistle reading for this week: Romans 6:1-11
Psalm for this week: Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17