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Luke 14:25-33 – Jesus’ calling involves renouncing all

At first this passage seems like a strong break from the ‘banquet-talk’. Even the scene changes from the banquet with a ruler of the Pharisees to Jesus being back on the road accompanied by a crowd. However, thematically it is connected. Jesus speaks of people coming to him, just as previously people had refused to come when they were called to the banquet, although subsequently the lowly had come.

Now Jesus speaks of people having to hate their family and even their own life in order to follow him. Hate here is used not so much of an emotion as of a priority rejection. Whereas previously people had declined to come to the banquet due to social and family obligations, Jesus calls people to submit these relations to the priority of following him in the kingdom. This is most clearly expressed in verse 33 – any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. This is exactly what the social protocols earlier in Luke 14 could not do. A cost of discipleship needs to be considered in one’s decision to follow Jesus’ call.