555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

299. What Is Meant by Hating Father and Mother and Wife for Jesus' Sake?

In Luke 14:26 our Lord asserts his claim to our most loyal service and our supreme affection. In taking up one's cross to follow him, we must be prepared for trials for his sake, and to break even the nearest and dearest ties, if need be. He must have the first place in our hearts. It may come to choosing between Christ and our nearest relations. Compare Matt. 10 37 with the passage in Luke 14. "Hate" is not the preferable word, as the passage in Matthew shows. The passage in Luke obscures the true form of the expression and invests it with harshness while Matthew makes the true meaning clear, that we are to love him better than all else, even those who are nearest and dearest to us, and that this love must assert itself loyally at the crisis, no matter what it may cost us. A loyal soldier will give up all to serve his country; so we too must be prepared to give up all, if need be, to serve Christ.