Luke 14:25-26 - Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 "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. NASU
The word "disciple" means to be a "learner". We are to learn from Jesus lessons about what is really important in life. If you will read your Bible you will discover what it means to be a "disciple of Jesus".
The word in this text that causes a lot of confusion is the word "hate". Does Jesus really want me to "hate" my father, mother, spouse, children and siblings? NO and that is an emphatic NO!
Can you hear me?
I am yelling, "NO!".
Well then what does He mean? If you want to be a "disciple" of Jesus then everyone and thing is going to have to be in second place and that includes "YOU". You have to deny your desires and Jesus is to possess first place.
What does that look like? The easiest way for me to answer that question is if there is something you want to do and the Bible is against that action you don't do it.
Let me give you an easy example. You go into a store and there is an item in there that you want. The only problem you don't have enough money to buy it. So you find a way to steal the item or steal money to come back in and purchase that item.
Is the Bible against stealing?
The obvious answer is yes, but you really want it. Do you want to be a disciple of Jesus? Yes, you say. Then you have no other choice. You cannot steal the item or steal money to buy the item. You have to deny yourself and this is exactly what Jesus is saying in the above text.
So now it is up to us to decipher His message for ourselves. In the book of Matthew Jesus uses that word "hate". Only thing is He tells us we are not to even hate our enemies.
Matt 5:43-44 - "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…
In the 10 Commandments (Exo. 20:12) God tells us to Honor our Father and Mother which is the complete opposite of "hating" them. So how does one make these scriptures that seem to contradict one another agree?
It boils down to this when being a disciple of Jesus is the motivation of your life everything else will be in second place. Your love for being one of His disciple's will be so strong that everything else would appear as though you hated it.
What I have noticed if you will read this passage this way it may help eliminate any confusion you may have: "If anyone comes to Me, and does not love less his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."
You can't even love yourself more than being a disciple. Everyone has to be loved less and if you will do that being a disciple of Jesus will be a whole lot easier.
Think About These:
Happiness doesn't come from what you have, but from what you are.
Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.