"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."
On first reading, this looks as if God, or Jesus, is selfish and demands that we love Him more than anyone or anything else.
But I don't think this is what Jesus meant here. Remember, He was talking to His contemporaries who understood what He was saying, and the nuances and figures of speech of the time.
I think what Jesus is teaching here is that love of parents, offspring, or even life itself is a sacred mission as created by God. It is our duty, obligation even, to love our parents, spouses, children and "neighbours".
Remember, "Honour your father and mother" and "Thou shalt not commit adultery" as well as "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
Jesus is saying here that our whole purpose in life is to do as God commands us, and this includes loving other people on the same level of importance as loving God, because He commanded so. Even to the point of loving our own life as a dedicated service to God's will, not as a selfish possession of our own
If you welcome, (love), someone as you welcome Jesus then you are welcoming God in your life. But if you welcome, (love), a prophet just because he is a prophet, then you're welcoming just another man.
We should love other people with the same power and intensity as Jesus has loved us. Difficult as this might be; we should at least try our best.
The same applies for our lives. Our lives are a gift from God and we should love, (dedicate), our lives to the service of God, our parents, spouses, children and neighbours. And those who perhaps do not have spouses or offspring or family should dedicate their lives to those less fortunate, less able, less blessed than them. This is done through voluntary service, charity work, and so many other causes.
" ... whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."
When Jesus was on earth, He lived His life in service for others. He even died for others. What He is asking us here is not to love our lives for ourselves - that is for our own good, our own pleasure, our selfish needs. But to love our lives lived in service for others. And also, to love others in the same way as He has loved us.