The first recorded conversion appears in Genesis 12:1. It was the call of Abram. This man lived in what is now modern Baghdad. In 2000 BC these people worshiped the moon. Abram worshiped the moon with them.

The Cost of Discipleship

It is important to note that his call to follow God included a call to leave family and kindred. “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and kindred and your fathers house to the land that I will show you.” In Abraham’s day family and kin were everything, they were God-substitutes, potential idols. Abraham must have been very close to his extended family. They probably thought he was crazy. It is unlikely that they understood. “God told you what?” they must have mocked. But he left, and the reason was the promise of eternal reward.  “He was looking forward to the City, that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). 

Jesus stressed the same theme. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). The cost to follow Christ has always radical and total.

In Abraham’s case applying this principle was costly. God tested Abraham’s loyalty by putting his finger on his relationship with his family. He will do the same with each of us. About 35 years after his initial call God asked for Abraham’s son, Isaac, as a living sacrifice. Abraham obeyed. We all know the story. At the last moment the Angel of the Lord restrained Abraham and provided an alternate. God honored Abraham’s faith. Ultimately, he gave Abraham his own Son in replacement. Such is the love of God. He richly rewards those who forsake family to gain inherit God’s promises.

In what way has following Christ cost you with immediate family? How can we reconcile these scriptures with the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and mother?” As always, your comments will be appreciated.

Thanks for reading.