“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.