December 13th, 2016
What can Jesus mean: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple” (v. 26)? My first reaction is, “How can I hate my family and still obey the commandment to honor my father and mother and love one another?” There has to be a way to explain what Jesus meant.
Input from many resources helps me understand this passage: “Hate” used here means to love less; it is a willingness to place the Lord’s claims above family, to love the Lord far more than family, to disregard family in comparison with my attitude toward God.
What about the price of following Christ? We must carry our own cross, to shoulder whatever may come, even be willing to die, and to follow behind in Christ’s footsteps. “Follower” and “disciple” are synonymous, but even a “follower” must count the cost.
Christ’s closing comment is point blank: “If you have ears, you should use them.”
Author: Pat Kissell