Hate Father and Mother
Luke 14:26 says, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be may disciple." Why does Christ say that we must hate our fathers and mothers and other family members? What does this verse mean?
There are occasions where the Bible uses the term "hate" in a comparative sense. Genesis 29:31 is one example of this. This verse says that Jacob hated his wife Leah. However, verse 30 points out that it was actually a matter of him loving Rachel, his other wife, more than Leah. Thus, the word hate is used in a comparative sense to mean "love more than."
The verse in question, Luke 14:26, is also a case where the term "hate" is used in a comparative sense. Jesus is not saying that we are to have malice or ill-will toward our family. That idea would contradict other plain passages. Instead, Christ is saying that we must always put Him before our families. Our love for Christ is to be greater than our love for anyone or anything.
Matthew 10:37 helps to explain Luke 14:26. as Jesus said, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
In Luke 14:26, Jesus is speaking to multitudes and is trying to make them realize that following His way will not always be easy. There will be hardships, tribulations, and persecutions. He says (v. 27) that we must bear our cross.
The lesson for us today is that we must always put Christ and His Word first in our lives. We are to love Him more than any family relationship or material possession. Our love for Him will be seen in our willingness to obey Him. John 14:15 says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
By Mike Johnson
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