LUKE 14: 26
If there was one word that could describe the main theme of the teachings from Jesus, it is commonly agreed to be the word “Love”. He stressed this on several occasions;
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34
When asked by one of the Sadducees;
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mat. 22:36-40
Yet in the book of Luke, Jesus’ own words are:
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26
Some would argue this is one of the so called ‘many’ a contradiction in the Bible.The very fact of an appearance of a conflict is an indication that there is a need for further study. So, as scripture does not conflict with itself what is being said here?
Some Greek words are known to have larger semantic range than their translated English equivalent. In other words, there are more different uses of the word available for various contexts in Greek than in English. The word ‘hate’ translated from the Greek (Miseo) is a word that means to have relative preference for one thing over another. In this case meaning to ‘love less’. What Jesus is stating here is that He needs to be first in our lives. No, it does not mean to disregard or hate your families, but there should be an order of precedence in our commitment.
As a common issue in Biblical times, becoming a disciple of Jesus would sometimes mean rejection from one’s own family, so this verse would have certainly be applicable. It’s meaning would also be applicable for us today. In serving the Lord correctly, the love for and from our family will grow stronger. In my opinion, any family that does not have the Lord in their lives is missing out on so much.