Bringing the Text to Life
In Matthew 10:37-39 Jesus makes what appears to be some outrageously startling statements. For many of us, the thought of actively proclaiming that our love for mother, father, brother, sister, is less than our love for Christ is a heartbreaking task. Who among us can scoop up the wriggling, squirming 2-year-old child or grandchild, look into the cookie-smeared, juice-stained face, receive an enthusiastic if messy kiss, and then announce you love Christ more than the child?
What we forget to consider when warily eyeing this dictum is that divine love does not operate on the theory that there is only so much love to go around. Loving Christ more does not diminish the love one already has for family. Loving Christ more instead raises the entire level of love available for all people - especially those whom we already hold dear.
As mentioned in the exegesis, the family arrangements in Jesus' day were arranged culturally according to patriarchal clans. All family members owed their...