What does Jesus mean by the verse in Luke 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother… he cannot be my disciple”?

Luke 14:26Hello S,

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“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).

Scripture usage makes it clear that this is not “hate” in the usual sense of the word. In the Bible, “to hate,” often should be understood simply as a typical Oriental hyperbole meaning “to love less” (Deut. 21:15–17). This fact stands forth clearly in the parallel passage where Jesus says, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37). This striking hyperbole is apparently used to make vivid to the follower of Christ the fact that at all times he must make first in his life the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 14:26, is implying that whoever has personal interests that take precedence over loyalty to Christ and devotion to His service will find it impossible to meet the requirements Christ makes of him. At all times and under all circumstances the call of the kingdom must come first. The service of Jesus calls for the entire and permanent renunciation of self.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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