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Does Jesus Really Want You to Hate Your Family? (Luke 14:26) - Your Daily Bible Verse - May 30

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Does Jesus Really Want You to Hate Your Family? (Luke 14:26)
By Lynette Kittle

Today’s Bible Verse: If anyone comes to Me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, bothers and sisters - yes, even their own life - such a person cannot be my disciple” - Luke 14:26

Many of us have tried avoiding a close look at Luke 14:26, often skimming over it in Bible reading. We don’t want to address what Jesus is saying. We wonder, “how could He possibly be telling us to hate our families?”

At first glance, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. It seems like Jesus is telling us to do the opposite of what His Word tells us to do over and over again: to love one another as we love God (John 13:34).

Hating those we love the most doesn’t seem to match up with all those verses about loving one another. It doesn’t seem to fit with a God defined by love. So, what is Jesus saying to us in this passage? What does He mean?

What Does Jesus Mean in Luke 14:26?

Luke 14:26, inspirational image

Hate in Scripture is often interchangeable with “choosing” someone over another. Romans 9:13 is an example of this: “Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’”.

Jesus instructs us to hate our own life by choosing God over ourselves. “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).

The Apostle Luke stresses, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to Me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).

Again, Jesus emphasizes, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).

What Does Choosing Really Look Like?

Luke 9:57-61 describes Jesus walking on the road while individuals approached Him. They wanted to follow Him wherever He went. But when Jesus extended invitations to them, saying, “Follow Me,” they said they had a few things to do beforehand.

Their requests sounded reasonable, with one asking to bury his father first and another wanting to go bid to his family before bidding them farewell. Most of us would see these things as the loving and compassionate things that these individuals to do before following Him.

But Jesus’ response was this: ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:62).

Jesus wants us to choose Him. He wants us to unconditionally walk forward with him. Looking back demonstrates there are still some things taking priority over following him.

God Is Love

God is love (1 John 4:8) and He does call us to love our families and neighbors. Yet, He also asks us to choose Him over our own lives and our families.

Following Jesus means making Him our first priority in life and loving Him over everyone else. Today, consider if Jesus really is the first priority in your life.

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, iBelieve.com, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, Startmarriageright.com, growthtrac.com, and more. She has an M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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