Peter said, “We’ve left our homes to follow you.” “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.” Luke 18:28-30
I’m a dad and I think that every parent would easily say there is nothing they love more on earth than their own children. When my son was only 2 years old, he slumped into unconsciousness while sitting at the dining room table eating lunch. I panicked. I had no idea what was happening. As a physician I knew I needed to check for a pulse and breathing. As a dad I was paralyzed with fear. I instinctively picked him up and took him to my bedroom where I placed him on the bed. I quickly realized I was useless and needed to get him to the emergency room where there would be a doctor who could actually help him. We lived a block from the hospital at the Subic Bay Naval Base so within 5 minutes my son was being evaluated by a doctor who could actually be of benefit. He was diagnosed as having a petit mal seizure. Today he is in great health at the age of 28. But in that moment in the Philippines, I would have paid any price, even my own life in exchange for his life. That is when I realized how much I love each and every one of my children.
In Luke 18, Jesus tells me I need to love Him more than my own children! That’s a lot of love. When I think about what Jesus is saying here, I think about my own kids. I have to ask myself if I really love Jesus as much, let alone more, than I love them. I have walked away from a lucrative medical practice because I love and trust Jesus. I trust Him with my life. But I honestly do not know if I love Him more than my own kids. I’m just being honest. And yet there is no one or no thing on this earth that can give me the peace I receive when I submit my life to Jesus. When I talk with Jesus and hear His voice in my life, there is nothing on earth that comes anywhere close to that experience.
Perhaps the question I need to ask myself is this, Would I follow Jesus even if my kids said they would never talk to me again? It’s a sobering question. I am thankful I have never been faced with such a decision. But it does makes me think about my relationship with Jesus, which is exactly what He wants me to do. So instead of trying to measure my love for Jesus, I will spend time with Him everyday. I will talk with Him throughout this day and each coming day. I will listen to His voice. I will treasure the time I have with Him. I will do what He asks. I will follow where He leads. I will embrace the journey as I revel in His presence. And I will leave the measuring up to Him.