Rank of Affection

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26

Without question there are some things that Jesus said that seem to contradict His message, or at the very least, make you stop and think about what He’s actually meant. Not a bad thing. The above verse definitely fits into that category. Does Jesus really want me to hate my family to follow Him? Not hardly!

The Greek word translated as hate is miseo. We think of hate in terms of animosity, strong dislike, anger, and contempt. It evokes strong emotions as we understand it. This is regrettable as it relates to what Jesus is actually saying in Luke 14:26. Jesus’ reference has more to do with rank of affection than animosity towards family. As a matter of fact, nowhere does Jesus ever calls us to hate anyone.

The real question here is this: “Do I love Jesus more than anyone or anything else?” When it comes to following Jesus, obeying His word, doing His will, where does Jesus rank? What or who has a higher priority than pursuing what Jesus wants for your life? This is a very legitimate and necessary question, as well as an appropriate requirement for Jesus to make of us.

The real emotions come in having to make the decisions to put God’s will ahead of what everyone else you love may want.


One response to “Rank of Affection

  1. When I was 16, I worked at a McDonald’s in the Kansas City area. A group of my co-workers (buddies) went across the street to Burger King for their lunch break. Unfortunately, they were, of course, in McDonald’s uniforms. My store manager caught them coming back, and fired them all.

    The manager said they had a choice to make: They can go to Burger King for lunch, but not while professing to be associated with McDonald’s. They should have changed their shirts; counting the cost of eating a Whopper rather than a Big Mac.

    Years later when I became a Christian, this “rank of affection” expressed by Jesus made sense to me, because of this experience. The manager was not saying he expects you to “hate” Burger King, but don’t eat there while professing to be a McDonald’s loyalist. Jesus does not expect us to despise other people, but be careful about professing to be a follower of Christ while saying something else with our actions or words.

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