A sermon Warren preached on Luke 14:25-36. For more of Warren’s work see his blog http://classic-theology-new.blogspot.com.au.

Hate those we love? Even life itself? Renounce that which we possess?  Paul Nuechterlein has a helpful way into understanding this passage. (See here.)  He uses that strange and ambiguous saying. “I love X to death.” Does this mean that we will love X until we die? Or perhaps that we will suck the life out of X? If the latter, and in a similar hyperbolic fashion, it would make sense that the antidote is to hate X to life. The insight is that what we love we love in our interest, and this distorts the relationship. In contrast, God does not relate to us out of self-interest, but for us. God does not need us, which is why God’s relationship to us is love.

Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily ask us to make a crass choice between the world and Jesus. Paradoxically it might seem, discipleship asks us to hate so we can love. (Scripture likes paradoxes like this. I’m thinking here of the paradoxical perfect freedom found in being a slave of Christ.)

 

 

And for the thinking behind a sermon on the parable of the lost sheep, see here.