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I mostly agree. Except a bit of nuance here:

“He also says that the gospel will put people in a position where they may have to choose between their relationship with Him and their relationships with parents or spouses or other loved ones.”

He is not telling the apostles to avoid love, or to obey rather than love. He is telling the apostles that many they meet will choose not to love, either the message or them. As Jesus illustrates throughout the gospels, he ministers first, building a rapport and relationship first, in both conversation and healing, etc. That is exactly the approach Jesus is provding the apostles. And he is warning them that not everyone will be receptive. And just as not everyone was receptive to Jesus, as they even plotted to kill him, so, to, as the apostles minister to Israel in His name, people will plot to harm them.

And, yes, I agree. It is a principle very applicable to today, espcially today. Not everyone is receptive to love. Even here on Medium there is story after story of people choosing love and then to have their supposed Christian family and friends reject them, turn their backs on them, even hate them for choosing to love their neighbor, whether it is the poor, sick, homeless, gay, straight, atheist, seeking justice for the oppressed, etc., rather than hate them.

Chooisng love, choosing to love, is often derided by Christians as being passive, wimpy, a “get along to get along” approach. I beg to differ. Choosing love is one of the hardest things to do. And elsewhere Jesus makes it clear the consequences of not choosing love, even among those who performed wonders in his name.

Joe

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