Are you worthy of Christ? Most people would probably say no. How could we human beings, dust that we are, be worthy of the Son of the Most High God? Today’s modern gospel carries no such concept as a person being worthy of Him, for it proclaims only that we are saved by grace, which is God’s unmerited favor.
This is absolutely true. We cannot do anything to earn or deserve His saving grace. But the Master did say, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”1 So it is clear that He considers some to be worthy and some unworthy.
Of course, it is only receiving His grace that makes us worthy of Him, but He wants us to understand that spurning His grace makes us unworthy of Him. Worthy in the Greek includes the meaning suitable or comparable, like Eve, who was a suitable helper for Adam.
But how could we be suitable for someone as wonderful as the Son of God? His love for us is so great that He left the throne of heaven, took on human nature, and poured out His life for us on the cross. His entire existence as a man was for our sake. So what kind of response on our part would be comparable to His love for us?
Here is what He Himself said:
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple . . . In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27,33)
So it is clear that the only appropriate response to His self-sacrificing love for us is a self-sacrificing love for Him. He loved us in deed and truth, actually suffering the loss of all things for us. What else can we do but suffer the loss of all things for Him, like the Apostle Paul did?2 Wouldn’t anything less be spurning His grace?
A man who is in love with a woman desires a reciprocal love from her, but he will not force her, for a forced response would not be genuine. If she never responds to him with the same passion and devotion that he has for her, but instead spurns him, he will find another who is worthy of his love. This is just how our Master is toward human beings.
So how do you respond to His great love for you? Are you worthy?