We were learning about Martin Luther’s life at church today.
Interesting to note that his parents were not supportive at all, when Martin Luther announced that he was going to be a monk instead of pursuing success somewhere in a secular occupation. That’s something very noticeable in anyone’s close walk with God… There will always be obstacles and most of the time, it will come from those closest to you.
We know Abraham had one of the most challenging trials in human history given to a mere human. To kill your own son, especially if he’s a really a good boy and someone who’s grown on you over the years (Isaac was probably in his twenties when the famous sacrifice took place), was most certainly no walk in the park; regardless how mature you are in the faith.
In the second half of the Bible, we find Jesus continuing on with these extremely stretching tests of our love for God. After all, it’s really easier said and sung… We all seem to believe we love God. At least enough to get us into heaven.
God however, seems to have the desire to make sure that those who spend eternity with Him won’t back out and regret it (AKA the story of the Original Sin). It’s not even really selfish – it just seems fair, doesn’t it?
Jesus knew that and that’s probably why He was at times quite harsh with His words. Many spiritual speakers want to moderate God’s Words and actions in the Bible, but that would not only be condescending towards God, but it’s a huge disservice towards the people who are seeking the one true God.
There’s a story in the Gospels, wherein Jesus was speaking to the crowds and His direct relatives, including His mother, were dead set to interrupt Him (Mat 12:46-50, Mar 3:31-35, Luk 8:19-21)… They even sent someone to get to His attention that they were present (Mar 3:31).
And it was reported to Him,
“Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.”
But He answered and said to them,
“My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
Luk 8:20-21 (NASB)
Imagine that: Not only did He not stop His teaching to attend to His “loved ones”, He basically told the crowd that more important to Him than “flesh & blood” are those who hear the Word of God and do it. This is of course very
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
Luk 14:26 (NASB)
In essence, these tests ultimately only tries to measure how far our self-professed love can go.
If you spin this idea a bit more and turn it around, God in a sense used the same litmus test on Himself. He wanted the world to see how much He loved us. That love was displayed perfectly on the Cross by Jesus Christ’s death and offering us the gift of salvation through His sacrifice.