26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Sorry, for the long delay in this. God and I haven’t exactly been talking a lot this week, so it’s been rather easy to set this study aside when I’m not feeling great. No, it’s nothing that serious, just the usual slog of life that’s been keeping me busy.
Which, I suppose transitions nicely into this verse.
In the context in which Luke was written, the Christian church had already suffered persecutions under the Pharisees and Sadducees and were emerging from a state sponsored persecution under Nero in which many Christians had been summarily executed, some in rather horrific ways for the amusement of the mad Emperor.
So the very real context of this quote (and I suppose one quite literal interpretation of the verses preceding it) is that for the Christian there are very real and serious consequences for choosing to follow the Way of Christ. It could lead to suffering and death. This is far removed from our modern American or European experience, though it is still a deadly reality for some churches in Asia and Africa.
For the 1st century Christian, there was enormous pressure by their families, by their former religious leaders, by their state to abandon the Way and return to something easier, more comfortable, more socially acceptable.
And while we don’t necessarily face death or being disowned for our faith, for us that temptation to abandon Christ for something more comfortable always remain.
Christ Jesus and His call to a selfless love and devotion towards others is not easy for us. Our default condition and state is to fulfill and focus on our own needs. One of the reasons why marriage and parenthood are difficult sometimes and require work is because they demand that we stop thinking solely of ourselves on occasion and consider the feelings and well-being of others. And Christ calls us to do that, not just for our own flesh and blood or even for the person we love, but for everyone.
So it’s a fairly easy temptation to call us back to a state of thinking solely of ourselves, of abandoning Christ to focus on me.
Peer pressure is another factor that can lead us away from Christ. It could be compromising our morals or taking time away from service to others, but the result is that we may have some relationships with others that impacting our ability to live, speak, and act as Christians.
So the idea, again, is to embrace Jesus wholeheartedly and not allow anything or anyone to call you aside or keep you from living the life we have been called to. The consequences is that we will have to face the Lord and I imagine that the shame of facing perfect Love that gave everything for us and realizing all of the ways in which we have fallen short, will break our hearts. Let alone whatever judgment ultimately befalls us as a consequence. While I do not believe in eternal hell, I do believe that Christ may leave us be for the interim until such time passes that we turn back to Him, and any state apart from the love of God is one to be dreaded.